English Broom. (Cytisus scoparius). (detail) (right by Jenny Manning and Blackberry threatening Leopard Orchid (detail) (left) by Vivien Lightfoot


Vivien Lightfoot and Jenny Manning

Opening 6pm Friday 20 May 2022

20 May – 3 July 2022

Jenny’s drawings and prints, and Vivien’s ceramics address our joint concerns about the viability of the unique Australian flora that once astonished Joseph Banks, Daniel Solander, and artist Sydney Parkinson when they arrived on the east coast of Australia in 1770. Sadly, many of our wilderness areas are now colonised with weeds or fast-growing native species that find their footing following such disturbances as land clearing or bushfires.

Our work develops a language of plant interactions. The strong forms of Australian flora are mingled with stems, flowers, and seeds of introduced plants. Banksia cones are strangled by honeysuckle and kurrajong pods are contained within a tangle of bristly oxtongue.
Weeds are now endemic to the Australian landscape so that, to the untrained eye, they are often accepted as normal. Native plants are dangerously outcompeted by many rambling species that have been carelessly introduced. Biodiversity suffers as the native plants are subsumed.

Artist Preview: Learn more about Entwined with Vivien Lightfoot and Jenny Manning

West Gallery, Belconnen Arts Centre

5pm Friday 20 May 2022

FREE, no bookings required

Join us from 5pm before the exhibition opening for a special artist preview and walk around the exhibition, Entwined with Vivienne Lightfoot and Jenny Manning. They will discuss their works, which address the impact of European Settlement and the uncontrolled spread of exotic plants and the effects on native flora, particularly those that are endangered.

About the artists:

Vivien and Jenny have worked collaboratively for several years as Educators at the National Gallery of Australia, and we have taken an interest in each other’s work. Our common concern about our dwindling native wilderness provided our theme which has been a great learning experience. Together and separately, we have explored plants such as the rare orchids of Canberra. These exquisite orchids are so vulnerable and to lose them would be a colossal tragedy.