A vibrant hybrid garden adorns the walls of the Museum.
Chantal Fraser is a Meanjin/Brisbane-based artist of Sāmoan descent. Her interdisciplinary practice spans moving image, photography, performance and sculpture. Drawing on her lived experience, Chantal’s work employs ornamentation and adornment to examine themes of materiality, identity and authority. As Artist in Residence, Chantal facilitated workshops open to the local community and visitors alike, where participants created ‘hybrid creatures’. She later manipulated and integrated these creatures into an expansive ‘hybrid garden’, which you see traversing the wall.
In the workshops, participants were prompted to make their own hybrid creatures by collaging upcycled materials. They were encouraged to view the creatures as extensions of themselves, representations of something of significance to them, or something totally imagined. Chantal provided examples, but there were no set rules. Participants could create freely and were guided to think more deeply about the world around them. As Chantal explains, “The world is made up of communities, which are made up of people. People evolve from nature, and the objects and clothes we use to express ourselves derive from materials that also evolve from nature”. By drawing attention to the ‘parts’ instead of the ‘whole’, Chantal invited participants to rethink the concept of ‘purity’, and develop a greater appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things.
Following the workshops, Chantal collected the hybrid creatures and photographed them in groups based on colour and shape. She digitally manipulated the photos to create new botanical forms, which she then arranged into the hybrid garden spanning the wall. Although designed by Chantal, the garden is an expression of connection and collaboration. It is a welcome space for community, where every person is valued for their contribution and recognised as a shared custodian.
MoB’s Artist in Residence Program is supported by Tim Fairfax AC.