Artwork: Esem Projects, Superorganism, 2021. Installation image, 'Botanica: Contemporary Art Outside 2021'. Photo by Dave Kan.

Discover Botanica


Discover a stunning open-air art exhibition in the heart of Brisbane City at Botanica - Contemporary Art Outside from 20-29 May 2022, in the City Botanic Gardens from 5-10pm daily.

As the sun sets over Brisbane's iconic urban skyline, Brisbane's City Botanic Gardens will come to life with state-of-the-art projections, unexpected installations and interactive artworks to captivate children and adults.

Enjoy Botanica Live Nights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings during the festival with additional activations, music, food trucks and an outdoor bar.

Botanica is a free event. 

Artists and artworks

Botanica features new artworks from some of Australia's leading contemporary artists and designers. It explores the nexus of art and design practice and inspires conversations about our built, natural and digital environments. Explore the artists and artworks that will be on display during the 2022 program.

Leila Honari

Farsh-e-Parandeh (Flying Carpet) - In the Gardens (2022)

Find out about the artwork

Artist statement

Inspired by 12th-century philosopher Farid ud-Din Attar's The Conference of the Birds (1177), Farsh-e-Parandeh ('Flying Carpet') - In the Gardens is a sublime transformation of traditional storytelling through digital ingenuity. A direct allegory of society's inexhaustive cycle, Attar's ancient story is reflected in a looping animation of exquisite birds that fly non-sequentially through seven stages of the human narrative - exploration, breadwinning, friendship, falling in love, parenthood, childhood and loneliness. A meditative celebration of the human condition, Farsh-e-Parandeh represents unity, wholeness and the divine narrative of the eternal return.

Materials: Projected animated image, audio, linoleum

Additional creative team
  • Project creative advisor: Andi Spark
  • Engineering advisor: Faramarz K-Rahber
  • Live performance:
    • The Dáf Institute - Homeira Aryanpad, Naghmeh Mehrabi, Hamid Taghipour, William Kane-Potka, Arash Zanganeh
    • The Sufi Art Group - Arash Zanganeh, Siavash Arian, Sina Motamed, Alireza Bahreini
    • Sufi dance - Leila Honari, Ambyr Leia
Acknowledgements

This work has been generously facilitated with support from the Griffith University LiveLab.

Biography

Dr Leila Honari is an animator of Persian background, whose first profession was as a designer of traditional carpets. She focuses on making animated projects that weave social, cross-cultural and historical themes within a symbolic context, examining motif and metaphor in relation to animated storytelling, using hand drawn, painterly and patterned-form techniques.

Image credit

Image courtesy of the artist.

Julie Monro-Allison

Patterns of space, points of life (2022)
 

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Artist statement

Patterns of space, points of life is inspired by manifestations of pattern and geometry in biological organisms and ecological systems. Life, growth and the complexity and wonder of biological organisms are the key narratives of the work, speaking to the specific ecological environment within the City Botanic Gardens and to ecological interconnection globally. The work is made with hand-woven electroluminescent wire, suspended between the weeping figs. The shape of the work is determined in response to the network of trees and the three-dimensional space created between the configuration of their branches. Audiences are invited to consider the delicate balance and intricate designs of the natural world, as well as the interconnectivity between nature, humanity and community.

Materials: Electroluminescent wire, yarn

Biography

Julie Monro-Allison is a visual artist and researcher living on Ngunnawal Country (Australian Capital Territory). She works with weaving, netting and other textile processes to investigate the relationships between living organisms and the spaces in which they exist.

Image credits

Top - Patterns of space, points of life (artwork detail, 2022), Julie Monro-Allison. Image courtesy of the artist.

Bottom - Pictured: Julie Monro-Allison. Image courtesy of the artist.

Tim Gruchy

Naturae Vitibus (2022)
 

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Artist statement

Vibrantly expressing hidden forces within nature at accelerated timeframes, Naturae Vitibus heightens our sense of the energies and powers within nature. Utilising three-dimensional mapped projection with sound, a majestic tree is given a different manifestation of life for the audience. The work explores notions of temporality, ancient timescales and our perception of time in relation to nature. It portrays the complexities and layering of growth cycles, highlights invisible underlying energies and forces, setting up a relationship with the audience of seeing, listening and taking time with nature anew.

Human socio-political or cultural views of nature often forget how nature observes and responds to our behaviour and actions in ways that though imperceptibly slow are nonetheless powerful. Nature forces both ways.

Materials: Projected image, audio

Biography

Gruchy's pioneering career spans the exploration and composition of immersive and interactive multimedia through installation, music and performance. He has exhibited multimedia works, photography, video, music and performance since the 1980s with works in private, corporate and museum collections, and has been exhibited extensively throughout Asia, Europe and America.

Image credits

Top - Naturae Vitibus (artwork detail, 2022), Tim Gruchy. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Bottom - Pictured: Tim Gruchy. Photography by Alex Frayne.

Kristina Knox / Maryam Shafiei / Shaden Aldakheel

Urban Totems (2022)

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Artist statement

Urban Totems is a spatial and visual installation that integrates timber structures and three-dimensional video mapping engagement to express idiosyncratic, digitally-manufactured symbols that serve as emblems for diverse groups of people. These are purely symbolic, digitally-manufactured, timber structures that question the ecologies of space and material of common urban highrise typologies. Audiences are invited to engage in active observation through an array of structures and a visual narrative of the design process. Urban Totems is an opportunity to experience the digital beauty and ecological importance of timber and the diversity of novel design processes and its significant connection to Queensland. Physical models of data-driven, tall, timber structures on the one hand, and physical models and videos of robotically-fabricated, parametric, timber walls, on the other hand, represent the potential of using timber towards a more sustainable future, respectively indicating the pre and post-craft phases for future timber structures.

Materials: Timber (plywood), LED lights, acrylic panels, steel angle brackets, screws, animated three dimensional video mapped projection

Additional creative team

Dr Fred Fialho Leandro Alves Teixeira and University of Queensland students

Acknowledgements

This project is generously supported by the University of Queensland.

Biographies

Kristina Knox
Kristina is a PhD candidate from University of Queensland in the field of interactive space design. Her research is focused on interactive space design, spatial communication, and spatial agency in shaping user's perception. She is involved in teaching activities in UQ Architecture including course coordination, tutoring and teaching.

Maryam Shafiei
Maryam is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Queensland. Her experiences span design and sustainability themes in architectural and urban scales, as well as topics in computational design and robotic fabrication in architecture. Since 2016, she has actively contributed to teaching and research efforts at UQ Architecture.

Shaden Aldakheel
Shaden is a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland. Her research interests include interaction design, emerging technologies, interactive space design, collaboration, human-computer interaction, and virtual heritage. She has a background in interior architecture and interaction design with professional and academic experience in the field of design.

Kristina Knox
Maryam Shafiei
Image credits

Top - Urban Totems (2022), Kristina Knox / Maryam Shafiei/Shaden Aldakheel. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Bottom - Pictured (in order): Kristina Knox and Maryam Shafiei. Photos courtesy of the artists.

Queensland Spinners Weavers & Fibre Artists

Neon Night Garden (2022)

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Artist statement

Neon Night Garden is an installation by the Queensland Spinners Weavers & Fibre Artists using a variety of fibre and textile crafting techniques, showcasing the skills of Queensland's crafting community. Their large-scale, participatory artwork invites the public to contribute to the glowing colony of handcrafted ghost fungi.

Omphalotus nidiformis is an unusual fungus growing low to the ground on tree trunks and fallen wood in secluded forests across eastern Queensland. This delicate, white 'ghost fungus' is a bioluminescent species – as if magical, it becomes luminous after dark.

Often invisible or overlooked, fungus is ubiquitous, inhabiting soils, organic material and man-made environments. Like the ghost fungus, this installation will glow and grow, creating a delicate presence in the City Botanic Gardens. This night garden provides collaboration and connection to nature and a reminder of the stablising force of community.

Materials: Mixed media textiles and fibres

Acknowledgements

With generous thanks to the community for their individual contributions.

Biography

Since 1969, the Queensland Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists group has existed to share, create, educate, promote, and support fibre and textile arts in the community. Based at Fibrecraft House in Auchenflower, the organisation displays, exhibits and demonstrates the breadth of their members' skills in spinning, weaving, felting, knitting, crocheting, dyeing, paper arts, bookmaking and basket making.

The group holds regular meetings, focused interest groups and keep a specialist onsite library. Members are encouraged to get involved in all aspects of the group and community engagement opportunities such as open days and regular skills focused workshops run by members.  The group is made up of like-minded fibre enthusiasts, sharing their passion for the artform with the wider community.

Image credits

Photo by Alison Pouliot, Omphalotus Nidiformis, 2018.

Archie Moore / Paul Bai / Erika Scott

Under the Same Sky (No. 2) (2022)
 

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Artist statement

Brisbane-based artists Archie Moore, Erika Scott and Paul Bai, from various cultural backgrounds, come together to create Under the Same Sky (No. 2), a work that poetically suggests the artists' position in contemporary Australian multicultural society and beyond. The new work deploys LED lights along black metal mesh to form the phrase 'under the same sky'. The viewer is invited to look up to read the lit text against the night sky, resembling one of the constellations. The phrase 'under the same sky' reminds us that despite our cultural, racial and political differences, as humankind we can share this utopian moment, where our differences disappear and we are together as the people of the universe. This same sky, was shared by our ancestors. This same sky, bears witness to our changing landscape for millennia. This same sky unites us all.

Materials: LED lights on aluminium mesh, cotton

Acknowledgements

Archie Moore is represented by The Commercial Gallery, Sydney. Paul Bai is represented by Australian Fine Arts, Brisbane.

Biography

Archie Moore
Archie was born in 1970 in Kamilaroi/Bigambul Country and works across media in portrayals of self and national histories. His ongoing interests include key signifiers of identity – skin, language, smell, home, genealogy, flags – as well as the borders of intercultural understanding and misunderstanding, including the wider concerns of racism.

Paul Bai
Paul was born in Tianjin, China and works in various media including painting, sculpture and installation. Paul poses a consistent interest in the notion of space, by adopting the tradition of conceptual art. He explores the ambiguous nature of spatiality that can be regarded as conceptual, physical and also experiential.

Erika Scott
Erika was born in 1987 in Biolela and is an artist who predominantly works in sculpture and installation. Erika's maximalist works reassemble and modify discarded objects, furniture and popular culture debris to develop elaborate surfaces and forms that teeter between 'image and object, the organic and artificial, and form and anti-form'.

Archie Moore
Paul Bai
Erika Scott
Image credits

Top - Under the Same Sky (No. 2) (artwork detail, 2022), Archie Moore/Paul Bai/Erika Scott. Image by Cian Sanders.

Bottom - Pictured (in order): Archie Moore, Paul Bai, Erika Scott. Image courtesy of the artists.

Tyler Krelle / Keria Shane / Kirralee Parker

Forecast (2022)

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Artist statement

Sculpture, technology, and observation collide in Forecast, a site-responsive installation work. Step inside a digital panopticon experience that holds a mirror up to our culture of virtual observation and seeks to disrupt the viewer's sense of security. When you step inside this installation, you will be surrounded by a ring of camera lenses that will capture your image and project it back on a monitor in the centre of the room. Forcing us to ask - 'when your every move can be recorded, who exactly is watching?' It's time to question your relationship with technology, surveillance and the power dynamics between the viewer and the viewed.

Materials: Concrete, fibreglass, steel tubes, steel cable ties, plywood, PVC pipe, chicken wire, acrylic sheets, plaster, acrylic paint, security cameras, mini computer monitor, shade cloth, LED lights

Acknowledgements

This project is generously supported by Queensland University of Technology.

Biography

The group behind Forecast is made up of three emerging artists – Keria Shane, Kirralee Parker and Tyler Krelle – who are based across the Brisbane and Gold Coast regions. All with varying art practices, the group has converged to explore the politics of surveillance and consent within a digital age.

Tyler Krelle
Keria Shane
Kirralee Parker
Image credits

Top - Forecast (artwork detail, 2022), Tyler Krelle, Keria Shane, Kirralee Parker. Image courtesy of the artists.

Bottom - Pictured (in order) - Tyler Krelle, Keria Shane, Kirralee Parker. Images courtesy of the artists.

James Voller / Joel Zika

Musa (2022)
 

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Artist statement

Musa is an augmented reality sculpture that brings lost Queensland flora back to life. Audiences will encounter a luminous, animated illusion nestled amongst Brisbane's manicured City Botanic Gardens.

The installation's name comes from the Musa genus of wild banana native to North Queensland, which was one of the few species collected by City Botanic Gardens' Curator, Walter Hill, during a research trip in the 1870s and propagated in the gardens on his return. Nowadays, the banana is a symbol of Queensland life and agriculture, but native species of the wild banana are not as well known. Voller and Zika's work shows the plants as not only growing in the gardens, but alive and prospering, illuminating the park for this year's Botanica.

Materials: Steel vitrine with perspex, LED holographic fans

Biography

Joel Zika
Joel is a Melbourne-based media artist. For the past 15 years his practice has been influenced by entertainment and amusement culture. Joel's light-based artworks and print installation employ and abstract the aesthetics of amusement parks, decorative art and experience architecture. Just like cinema, amusement parks offer new perspectives on sociological fears through pastiche, escapism and surreal design. Joel's practice is particularly influenced by the unique ways in which haunted and spooky attractions appropriate and inhabit existing community space and reveal hidden histories.

James Voller
James' practice combines contemporary public art installation and photography. His sculptures are concerned with architecture, landscape and social histories. Since moving to Australia from New Zealand, James has worked on a range of large-scale, permanent and temporary artworks in a range of settings (regional and urban), nationally and internationally. James' installations are site-responsive and combine the latest architectural materials with public art concepts. His recent works generate illusions, linking history, architecture and social identity. He has a particular interest in how history, growth and architecture impact cities identities and the people who live in them.​

Joel Zika
James Voller
Image credits

Top - Musa (artwork detail, 2022), Joel Zika and James Voller. Image courtesy of the artists.

Bottom - Pictured (in order) - Joel Zika, James Voller. Images courtesy of the artists.

Sam Cranstoun

A Simple Story (2022)
 

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Artist statement

A Simple Story places an historic Brisbane landmark in direct conversation with the current climate issues facing the world. Conceptualised before the 2022 flooding, the artwork's attempt to force viewers to question their relationship with nature and the built environment is eerily timely. It subtly poses questions about grim ecological trends, how they will impact our landscape and what it could mean to allow nature to reclaim the city we inhabit. A Simple Story is designed to gently encourage visitors to consider how collective and individual actions may shape our living conditions in the future.

Materials: Stainless steel, LED lighting

Additional creative team

Holland Street Studio

Acknowledgements

Sam Cranstoun is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane.

Biography

Sam completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours at the Queensland University of Technology in 2010. His work is held in several collections, including the University of Queensland Art Museum, Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, Museum of Brisbane, Artbank and various private collections. Sam is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane.

Image credits

Top - A Simple Story (2022), Sam Cranstoun. Image courtesy of the artist.

Bottom - Pictured: Sam Cranstoun. Image courtesy of the artist.

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Public events program

Botanica offers a range of unique experiences for all ages including guided walks, a children's discovery trails and hands-on workshops. All events are free, with some subject to bookings via Eventbrite.

To see all Botanica events for a specific date or date range, or to see a specific event, filter your search.

Botanica Live Nights | Activity | Guided walks | Performance | Self-guided walks | Workshops | CBD screens |

Explore Botanica with our detailed event map

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2021 highlights

Check out our 2021 highlights videos to see why Botanica 2022 needs to be a firm date in your May calendar.

More information

For more information for Botanica, you can:

  • phone Council on 07 3403 8888
  • email the project team
  • write to:
    Botanica
    Brisbane City Council
    GPO Box 1434
    Brisbane Qld 4001.
Last updated: 20 May 2022
Topics: creative

Brisbane City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and their unique relationship with their ancestral country. We pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of Brisbane, and recognise their strength and wisdom.