Brisbane Airport BNE Issue 4 - page 10

BNE August/September 2014
Private gardens open in spring
When Cathy Guymer moved into her house at Corinda 24
years ago there was grass from the footpath to the back gate.
Now you can’t see even a glimpse of her house from the street
thanks to the lush green screen she has built around her home.
Cathy’s tropical oasis of dense green foliage is far from jungle
but she likes to think it’s the sort of unkempt habitat “tigers
might walk through”, describing her patch as “organised chaos”
rather than a formally landscaped space.
Her plan was simple, she started planting around an existing
Leopard Tree in the backyard and as her trees matured they
provided shade for ground cover to develop. Now the garden is
a haven for many types of ferns, palms, bat plants and the huge
hanging baskets Cathy has made herself, recycled from cast-offs
found in the street.
Cathy’s garden is just one of several around Brisbane that
will be open to the public over spring and summer as part of
the Open Gardens program and her friends have volunteered
to make cakes and help with refreshments. Open on 27 and 28
September at 36A Richmond Street, Corinda, 10am-4pm, $8
entry. For more gardens see
lare Poppi’s Growing Jewellery began
as part of a university thesis that earned
her first class honours in her Fine
Arts degree and an ArtStart grant from the
Australia Council which has allowed her talent
to flourish.
For the initial project Poppi sent out
‘growing’ jewellery to people here and overseas
who would look after the pieces for a time and
document their experiences. The point was to
form a connection between the ‘grower’ and
nature and that wearing the jewellery would be
a visible statement of environmental awareness
and provoke conversation.
Four years later Poppi is still producing
Growing Jewellery, now available at jewellery
gallery Fio in New Farm and at artisan in
Fortitude Valley. As delicate as the pieces look,
they are made to be worn and when the plant
finally dies off, or some plant types can be
planted out if they start to grow too large, the
‘grower’ can start again with another plant.
Each piece comes with instructions on how
to achieve the super fine soil, sow the seeds
and care for the plant through its lifecycle and
no one yet has been back to Poppi for a refill
(although she’d happily supply one). Poppi has
created her jewellery using varieties of grasses,
basil and succulents in miniature and her latest
pieces, abstract designs from her
Closer to the
series (2014), are included in artisan’s
exhibition Greensmith: New Directions in Eco
and Ethical Jewellery.
The exhibition is a collaboration between the
Jewellers &Metalsmiths Group of Queensland
(JMGQ) and Metal Arts Guild – San Francisco
(MAGSF) and showcases 16 Queensland artists
and nine California-based artists to promote
ethical principles in jewellery production.
Poppi’s own pieces have been made using
recycled copper, a miniature glass vase, soil and
live plant. In all her pieces she uses recycled
metals from things like old cutlery or broken
jewellery that can be melted down and reused
and she uses natural alternatives to chemicals
traditionally used in making jewellery.
Poppi’s reputation is also slowly growing.
She has just returned from her first major
creative marketplace in Melbourne and hopes
to do more in other cities with a new ‘teardrop’
collection coming soon.
At Gallery artisan, 381 Brunswick Street,
Fortitude Valley until 27 September 2014
Ethical jewellery
A Growing art
Photography by Jaala Alex
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