a news update on 'Homage to the Seed' 

Dear <<First Name>> 
Its been a few months here at the studio catching one's breathe after last year's huge stint as Artist-in-Residence at Mt Coot-tha. Fifty four hectares of Gardens, a wonderful Botanical Library, the Seed Lab set up by the Kew Garden's Millennium Seed Bank Project, and all the people I met in 2010 brought home the immensity of complex learning to be traversed around plants, eco-systems, science, cultural and human relationships with plants. It seems I barely scratched the surface of this engrossing realm and its significance in our contemporary world. An overview of  the residency is available at the website and Homage to the Seed blog if you wish to read more. A newsletter seemed the ideal format for discussing whats been happening with the project since the residency.


Firstly ... a thank you is in order!

To all who those who contributed last year... whether sending encouragement via email, leaving comments at the blog, particpating in the Mail Art show, finding time to join us in attending an event or playing an even bigger part ... which some certainly did ... I am deeply grateful. No gesture of support is too small when in the midst of conducting a project like Homage to the Seed which is so broad-ranging ... covering many avenues of human experience.
I would like to especially thank Helena and Trevor Lloyd of
Percolator Gallery
, Paddington, for having made me beneficiary of a Studio Residency in which to work for 6 months from July 2010. The challenge of the Garden's Residency minus a studio was such that the 6 months I spent at Percolator made all the difference and I shall be forever grateful!

...a huge thank you also to all whom I came across at the Gardens, working in the
Seed Lab with Jason Halford alongside volunteers, Phil Cameron, senior Botanist coming by, Bettina Palmer, Denise Rivers and many other wonderful volunteers who contributed such valuable time to this engaging project ... not to forget, from the Library the incredibly supportive Deidre Lowe. Such experiences are made by the kindness and support of those who one works alongside in pursuit of common goals. Merci!

2011 as it is unfolding

This difficult summer here in Qld, which saw many dealt a severe blow, triggered attention on sustainability issues ... food security, habitat loss, housing and employment, energy and industry etc. Homage to the Seed touched on a number of key sustainability themes in 2010.
Reflecting on this and the possibilities for 2011 I was given significant encouragement and ideas to consider by Corinne Unger, from the  Sustainability and Mining sector, and Dr Sarah Ashmore, initial founder of the Qld chapter of the MSB project. Out of that goals emerged for the next stage of the Homage to the Seed project.

Following conversations earlier this year with Paul Smith, the director of the (UK) Millennium Seedbank Project, an invitation came to consider undertaking a brief, informal residency at the MSB in Wakehurst Place, Sussex later this year to carry out further research whilst gaining global perspectives on the MSB's work and related programs and issues around Seeds and Biodiversity.
Presently I'm engaged in activities to make possible the excellent offer that includes on-site accomodation at Kew Garden's MSB.  The Australian Cultural Fund is one avenue of focus, with additional sponsorship being sought to complete the picture. The Eden Project in Cornwall and the Oxford Muse Foundation are two organisations I've been communicating with as well should time permit to visit.
Stay tuned for more about that... a couple of events are on the cards in the coming months!

Another development concerns the Homage to the Seed book which documented the residency last year. A second printing is currently being organised and steps are being taken for it to be available as an e-book before too long. Interest in the book has come from around Australia and Overseas... with only low-key mentions on the website and blog I'm delighted to have had this response! More coming on that too! QUT Printers, who printed the book, experienced colossal losses at their Milton facility in the January floods. Despite their very uncertain future the same courteous helpful service is being offered. 


So what's next?

28th of May: Workshop at Caloundra for the Colour Society of Queensland.
A delightful association since 2008 has been with the Qld Colour Society. Julie Blackmore is generously hosting this fully booked event. Participants have been advised to dig out their prized colour pencil sets, watercolours etc and come long for what should be a wonderful session exploring colour together... using found natural objects as the starting point.
Enquiries about the Colour Society (click above) and if you'd like to discuss the courses and workshops I've been conducting over many years please do get in touch... I'd love to hear from you. One-day events and retreats are a specialty... perhaps you have a group or location in mind... let me know and we'll see what could be arranged. 
                                                                     Workshop May 28th:


4th of June: Sustainability Day at Hillbrook 
Come and say hello to me at the 'Homage to the Seed' stand, or join me in the speakers session for my talk at 10.30am.
A brilliant program has been organised by the formidable Marilena Stanton whom I was fortunate to have on board at the Botanic Gardens last year as Co-convenor of a huge July residency event: OPEN STUDIO WEEK. Her enthusiasm knows no bounds ... through dilligence and good will she has secured the most exciting line up of projects and people to showcase a whole gamut of ways we can be the change we need right now... making habits out of good ideas! 

 the program includes these excellent items... email if you'd like to know more!

  • Practical demonstrations and workshops
  • Innovative speakers – Keynote speaker Matthew Wright The Young Environmentalist of the Year 2010 and CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions.
  • An exciting hypothetical “Community Solutions to Global Problems” with our panel of experts.
  • Connect with local community groups and organisations showcasing sustainability initiatives.
  • Enjoy locally made food
  • Remember how things used to be with The Enoggera Historical Society and the Enoggera Boys Home.
  • Recycle e-waste, bottles & glass jars, bicycles, garden pots, phone books, unwanted reading classes & bicycles.
  • Create a new wardrobe with our clothing exchange organised in conjunction with The Clothing Exchange an Australia wide organisation that addresses unsustainable consumption practices with clothing/fashion.
  • Photographic competition, art trail
  • Children’s Activities – story telling from Eco Hero author, face painting, make sea creatures
  • Entertainment – Strange Fruits, Kerbside Pickup
More info at Hillbrook website.

Well, that's all the news till next month. Do let me know if you've come across interesting seed related news you'd like to share. Ive been sent some great material, offered all kinds of ideas and links, since commencement of this project! Several of my youngest students have been asking what else I have painted in my life than seeds and pods. If I persist and keep them drawing my seed pod collection they remark later how interesting a subject it is... well I would agree with that!
My best to you,  


For your information: Please note the option to opt out / unsubscribe below. If you signed on at events to receive further information, or have been in communication via email you are likely to be on this list. I do apologise for any inconvenience if this email made its way to you without your knowing or wish to be included. Check also in case a friend has passed it on to you! Kind regards, Sophie Munns.

NB: The book has been selling well since being published for the December Exhibition at the Herbarium... only a few copies are now available till the reprint is done and an e-book  is ready for sale


Recently I've been designing more cards for events coming up in 2011 - on recycled card- they of course pay homage to the Seed. Cards are $2 each, or 6 for $10 when purchasing in person -  Mail orders start at $20 (small postage fee extra) if you're interested to have a collection of postcards sent to you! 

current weblinks:

                 Homage to the Seed Blog
                 Artist's Website
                 Eclectic Visual Arts Blog
                 Studio Archive Blog
                 Tumblr: Seed Capsules
                 Twitter: Sophie Munns

                 Mobile: 0430 599 344

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Copyright © 2011 Sophie Munns - Visual Artist, All rights reserved.
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