urban nature

I've lived most of my life in cities—Adelaide, Hobart, Kota Kinabalu, Melbourne and Sydney—and I almost always travel to another city—Rome, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Paris, Singapore, and Tokyo, among others. I've lived in rural towns and spent the better part of a year in lowland rainforests in Sabah, Borneo. But I am, by nature, an urbanite.

I love gardens, but recently and regrettably have lost the inclination to 'garden' as such. What I loved so much was watching plants grow, composting waste, seeing birds among the blossoms of trees I'd planted in my early teens, and catching the perfume of jasmine, hoyas, lilies and the like. Wherever I live, the changes apparent in gardens, parks, and verges are the major visual cues of seasonal change.

My last post noted humanity's increasing urbanisation. I see and feel the process around me. Suburban blocks are subdivided, house sizes and traffic density increase, gardens and available habitat decline, and there's less natural shade. Though welcome, street trees can't compensate for urban biodiversity loss. Daily encounters with nature are increasingly marginalised as urbanisation advances in lockstep with population growth and rural migration.

These are the forces I explore in my next exhibition. Works will be based on my most recent journey westward from the world's largest city, Tokyo (population density: 6,000 per sq km).

Here's a glimpse...