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ENTINWED | Plants & People

State Library Queensland (SLQ)

Man&Wah was invited by SLQ to create a series of transformative works which reinterpreted the Australia flora and explored the connections between plants and the human experience. The result was a series of large scale photographic prints, a three channel audio/visual projection (displayed on three large scale purpose built hanging perspex glass screens), and a series of sandscape installations produced monthly over a 6 month period. These artworks were displayed alongside artist Donna Davis’s artworks and the SLQ nature historical collection.


During the exhibition Man&Wah held a series of immersive events in collaboration with musician Clara Durbidge titled Sonic Reflections, which encompassed a guided meditation and with a live music experience - inviting the audience to dive deeper into their connection with nature through a cosmos context. For the exhibition Man&Wah also created a collection of custom designed merchandise for the SLQ gift shop inspired by their artworks within the exhibition.


(Top images) Various selected screen shots from the ENTWINED video artworks with the kangaroo flower metamorphosing.


"The lives of plants and people are inextricably entwined. 

Curlosity, greed and intimate connection lie within our passionate and destructive relationship with the plant world. 

The shapes and colours of plants drive our sense of harmony and beauty. They are healers of both mind and body, providers of food, shelter, and the air we breathe.

Without them, endlessly creating and re-creating our world we can't survive.

Pause, breathe, and notice the complexity and beauty of plants."

Text by Joan Bruce | Specialist Librarian - State Library of Queensland  


(Top three images) Hallway entrance to the ENTWINED exhibition featuring the large format photographic prints, projection video artworks and the sandscape installation.

(Images below) A new sandscape installation was created monthly onsite during the exhibition period with organic objects found and gathered from around Brisbane.


2021 Quantum Metamorphosis – Glory Vine series

Digital print, archival ink on photo rag pearl paper, gold metal frame with museum grade glass -100cm x 150cm


2021 Quantum Metamorphosis – Banksia series

Digital print, archival ink on photo rag pearl paper, gold metal frame with museum grade glass -100cm x 150cm


(Top image) A scene from the video work displaying fractal butterflies. (Image above) Initial concept sketch of the exhibition layout by Exhibitions Coordinator Samantha Bourke from SLQ.  (Image below) The 3 channel projection screens at the center of the gallery space wraps around the viewer to create an immersive viewing experience.


(Videos above & below) Promotional videos created for the exhibition.   (Images below) A selection of screen shots from the ENTWINED | plants and people video work. The video work is a visual narration weaving the five elements of air, water, fire, earth and ether. The video transitions and morphs contemplatively into a visual experience.   


(Above images & video) A selection of screenshots from the video artwork and promotional videos for the exhibition of a gumnut bud and flower in different stages of metamorphosis.


During the opening weekend of ENTWINED as a part of the SLQ public program, Man&Wah collaborated with musician and sound healing practitioner Clara Durbidge for the Sonic Reflections event - a guided mediation and audio/visual event held in the three screen projection area of the exhibition space, allowing participants to sit, relax and be drawn into the plant inspired performance.

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(Above video and images from top to bottom) Clara and Man waiting as the audience arrives for the Sonic Reflection event. During the event Clara used a selection of instruments for her set. The event starts off with a guided meditation by Man as he narrates and moves through gallery space gently guiding the audience into a meditative state through a cosmos perspective, setting the ambience for the event. As the meditation draws to a close - Clara seamlessly weaves in her etheric vocals and skillfully plays her selections of instruments creating an even deeper and immersive experience for the audience.


(Below images) For the exhibition, Man&Wah created a series of print merchandise that was stocked in the SLQ gift shop. The merchandise ranged from A3 size printed posters of the large Banksia and Glory Vine prints that was featured at the entrance of the exhibition; and a gift card set inspired by the plants and metamorphosing floral mandalas that was featured throughout the video artworks.


Man&Wah would like to give a big thank you to all the staff at SLQ for their time and involvement in making this exhibition possible. Especially Joan and Sam in sharing your vision and including us in this unique exhibition to contemplate deeper and reimagine our human relationship with nature, earth and the cosmos.


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