Treasuring the ‘Seeds of Our City’ in new Arup exhibition

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
6 May 2020

A new exhibition in the Arup Gallery in Sydney celebrates the unique biodiversity of Western Sydney with delicate works by three acclaimed local artists.

It also reminds us what could be lost if fertile natural habitat succumbs to careless urban development.

Arup is hosting Seeds of Our City as a symbolic bridge between the Sydney’s CBD and Western Sydney – a region absorbing 70,000 more people each year and experiencing an infrastructure boom.

Arup, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) and Liverpool City Council are jointly presenting the show to open up community and professional conversations about how to protect environments and stay connected to nature while cities expand.

With our partners, we are seeking to highlight our mission to meet global issues in our own local context – through the joy of creativity in art. ”

David Harding David Harding NSW and ACT Business Leader

“This partnership with CPAC and Liverpool City Council was envisaged as a symbolic bridge to our City’s Greater West to raise awareness of the great cultural and natural diversity that exists in Greater Sydney,” David said.

Diego Bonetto creates living terrarium art pieces

Arup’s City Strategy & Sustainability specialist Sarah Tasic added, “Hopefully, this exhibition will hasten dialogue about conserving larger pockets of remnant vegetation, engaging local Indigenous communities to share and practice traditional methods of caring for country, prioritising nature in land use decision making and restoring and reconnecting habitat in urban areas.”

CPAC Director Craig Donarski said: “The talented artists we’ve selected are well-known for crafting organic works brimming with life – from living, breathing terrarium art made from the very seeds and soil of the site, to wonderfully woven designs drawn entirely from natural materials, to intricate clay creations evoking the environment of the Casula Parklands.”

In an increasingly concrete jungle, this exhibition is our way of contributing a little bit of the art and soul of the natural world into the city that is Sydney. ”

Craig Donarski Director, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Svetlana Panov clay sculpture Svetlana Panov clay sculpture
Svetlana Panov's intricate ceramic pieces are inspired by textures of aquatic life and plants in the local Parklands.

The works on exhibition are by:

Diego Bonetto who creates large scale living terrarium art pieces with soil from different sites to explores their history and the idea of connection to the natural environment. 

Award-winning artist and designer, Kerrie Kenton, a Wattegora woman of the Durag and Dhunghutti Nations whose work is made from natural materials and draws from Indigenous Australians’ notions of deep kinship to the land.

Svetlana Panov, from Casula Powerhouse’s Ceramics Studio, whose intricate ceramic pieces are inspired by textures of aquatic life and plants in the local Parklands. 

Arup has a long history of engagement with arts and culture, initiated by its founder Ove Arup. Seeds of Our City is the fourth exhibition in the Arup Sydney Gallery, each curated to stimulate thought and discussion about aspects of the built environment.