Leave it all behind

BOTANICA is the Spanish word for plant, and in English it means a shop that sells herbal remedies.

But it’s also the title of a wonderfully eclectic show in Fremantle’s West End, showcasing 10 local artists’ love and connection to the plant world.

Botanica explores the beauty and diversity of the plant kingdom through a range of ceramic, illustrated, photographic and mixed-media installations.

The show is the brainchild of local artist Natalie Acton, who says it’s easy to forget how much influence plants have on our lives.

“If you’re a city dweller kind of person, you don’t always get out into nature enough, so I think it is something that is easily overlooked.”

• Artist Alina Tang with her mixed-media installation in Botanica. Photo by Michael Roberts

Ceramic artist Elaine Bradley says the exhibition has received rave reviews from the public.

“I think people relate to anything that is plant orientated: you don’t have to be an artist or in the art world to come and understand it,” she says.

“Even someone who lives in the smallest, most crowded flat will have a plant on their windowsill, whether it’s to contribute to their cooking as a herb or just respiration.

“People just like plants—they’re good for the soul.”

• Elaine Bradley’s wheel-thrown laser-printed porcelain nest.

Whether you’re into weird and wonderful photography, hand-crafted ceramics or keen to take a selfie beside a stunning mixed-media installation, Botanica has lots to offer.

“It’s kind of like our own little botanica shop, a coming together of 10 artists,” Acton says.

“It’s a theme that people really relate to and it’s taking a bit of nature back into the home with you”.

Botanica is at Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery, 10am–4pm daily, until April 22.

by MICHAEL ROBERTS

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