As I sculpted the banskias familiar form, I was interested in capturing the way we see this flora as a symbol of resilience within the landscape. The banksia has developed to withstand and overcome bush fires, regenerating and shedding their seeds after this extreme trauma. The trauma held within the Australian landscape and simulatnously as individuals, is a theme I have been interested in exploring within my work.The tiny pods of the banksia become small, hollowed spaces, suggestive of something which could be both recognisable and foreign in the same moment. Their reflective quality, with shiny pockets of gold and opalene glaze, acts as a metaphor for this resilience, as well as reflection on our identity as Australians.
The banksia itself was named in 1770 after Sir Joseph Banks, a European, yet the oldest Australian fossil on record dates back 47 million years*. Hence, this becomes symbolic of the European claiming of things, and furthermore, evidence of the way Australian identity sits in an unknown space.
* Groundbreaking discovery in plant adaptations to fire – News and Events | Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. [online] Available at: (https://news.curtin.edu.au/media-releases/groundbreaking-discovery-in-plant-adaptations-to-fire/) [Accessed 26 April 2021].