Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tabatha Forbes

I don’t know your name (but I’ll call you…)

The series title: I don’t know your name (but I’ll call you...) refers to the early processes of naming / identification and the need to categorise and label in order to perceive the value / place of the specimen (flora or fauna).   The weeds or unintentional plants of this place, are given placement and value in their documentation, painted and preserved on the original fruit crates, which like many of the plants here no longer have any human use.  

Prior to this series, I have actively sought to identify plant species using botanical and local / Maori names.  In this series despite the inclusion of some obvious species (.i.e. dandelion) the names have been removed as if the plant is being newly claimed / discovered.   The result is an expression of our confused understanding ; a last minute attempt to appreciate and consider, to place, value and in a sense, take a fresh responsibility for.

Each plant is renamed to include forbesii, based on a typical c18th dedication to the botanist/naturalist who originally ‘discovered’ the plant.  In this case I have walked around the site to collect my plants, renaming and reclaiming them for the purpose of my work.

Their representation is faded; a constructed history reminiscent of the original function of the boxes and the original status of the ‘exotic’ introduced plant long since fallen from grace and demoted to ‘weed’.

More obviously, the collection of weeds and crates refers directly to how we perceive waste, and what constitutes as value.  

Written by Tabatha Forbes for I don't know your name (but I'll call you...) on show at the Corban Estate Arts Centre until the 4th of December.

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