Annelies Jahn & Jane Burton Taylor
The Grass Chair
Site-harvested whiskey grass, recycled hessian, beeswax and found chair
approx. 50 x 47 x 120
Whisky Grass is one of many invasive non-indigenous species that impact on the local bio-diversity. Like many non-native plants it had a humble introduction into this country and one which belies its extraordinary rampant spread. Whisky grass was used to pack bottles of whisky in their boxes transported from Scotland and Ireland to these shores. In this artwork, a sturdy farmers chair appears to have sprouted a forest of the grass. The whisky grass has been harvested by the artists from the Q Station site, in a symbolic and actual gesture to reduce the load of invasive weeds and the pressure they place on indigenous vegetation. (The artists have also individually dipped the heads of each stalk in bees wax to ensure the seeds are contained.) The grass filled chair suggests in a whimsical way, the uncomfortable relationship between colonisation and our own survival in this land.
Annelies Jahn and Jane Burton Taylor have worked collaboratively, concurrent with their individual practices, for the past four years. They are both masters graduates of the National Art School, majoring respectively in painting and sculpture. Their joint work focuses on the natural world, responding to specific sites and natural phenomena, and falls broadly into the context of Land or Eco Art. In July of this year they completed a month-long Q Station residency and this work was developed in response to that research. Last year they had an exhibition titled Tethered, at Incinerator Art Space in Willoughby, a body of work exploring humans layered current and historic relationship to bush sites on Cammeraygal, Gadigal and Gundungurra Lands.