Biochromes: Perceptions of Australian Medicinal Plants through Experimental Photography
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This practice-led visual arts research project uses photography to represent medicinal plants of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), and provides a visual articulation of the actions of decay and regeneration. It draws on natural science and extensive consultations and discussions with members of the Quandamooka community of Minjerribah. I have a particular interest in medicinal plants that stems from my childhood spent growing up in the small town of Janów Lubelski in Southeast Poland. My grandmother had a special knowledge of making infusions from local herbs, and remedies from twigs and berries. In an effort to find a sense of belonging in Australia, I brought this experience of Polish folk medicine into my new locale alongside my ecological concerns for maintaining biodiversity and preserving the natural environment. Focusing on medicinal plants from Minjerribah, this research project is grounded in field trips, and the long process of building precious relationships with the local Quandamooka Peoples. This research emphasises the importance of the protocols and processes involved in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the respectful treatment of cultural property, and the productive outcomes of sharing stories. I have learned much from my regular visits with Minjerribah residents and from literature about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their knowledge systems, traditions, and the significance of their connection to country, particularly in relation to plant culture.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Queensland Colledge of Art
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Medicinal plants, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland