First nations artist wanted for Botanic Garden public art

Artist's impression of the upcoming Herbarium. Picture: ABG
Artist's impression of the upcoming Herbarium. Picture: ABG

Works are well under way on the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan's new $60 million herbarium and now the garden is seeking a local artist to add their touch.

The garden, with support from the state government and the Australian Institute of Botanical Science, has invited first nations artists or artist groups with strong connections to Dharawal Country or the Dharawal community to lodge an expression of interest for a new public artwork.

The selected artist will develop their concept in close collaboration with the community and the Institute's science, horticulture and education teams.

The final artwork will be sandblasted into the concrete flooring surface of the National Herbarium of NSW's eastern terrace before the grand opening.

The EOI period opened on September 21 and will close on October 15. Shortlisted artists will be notified on October 25.

Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust chief executive Denise Ora said the garden was commissioning a first nations artist to recognise and celebrate the significance of Mount Annan to the Dharawal community.

"The artwork will respect and recognies first nations scientific and cultural knowledge systems, and link to the collaborative plant research, education and conservation projects undertaken by the herbarium staff and first nations communities," she said.

"Our vision for the new artwork is that it connects to Dharawal culture and community, the herbarium and garden's living collections, environmental conservation work and the surrounding landscape."

To submit an expression of interest, complete the Artist EOI Form and email any supporting documents to programs.info@botanicgardens.nsw.gov.au.