[ASC-list] FOR ACT List Please: Arctic Seed Vault Spawns Art Exhibition

Cathy Reade creade at squirrel.com.au
Wed Aug 5 05:37:24 UTC 2009



Embargo: Friday, 7 August 2009

For further information and to arrange interviews contact:
Cathy Reade, Public Awareness Coordinator, Crawford Fund 0413 575 934
Media welcome to arrange to view exhibition Friday morning.
Website for exhibition: http://treasureofseeds.linsket.com/treasures

Unique Contemporary Art Exhibition

A unique contemporary art exhibition, to raise awareness of the need to save
the world's agricultural seeds and crop genetic diversity, will be opened on
Friday, 7 August and then be held from 8-18 August 2009 at the CSIRO
Discovery Centre, at Black Mountain, Canberra.

Art works vary from oils and water colours to sculpture, and contributors to
the exhibition include professional international and Australian artists,
academics, scientists, archaeologists and a ballerina. 

The event was originally conceived with the February 2008 opening of the
arctic 'doomsday' seed vault in Norway, the ultimate safety net for the
world's most important natural resource - its seed collections.

"Every artist has thought and written about the theme and produced something
which illustrates the 'treasure of seeds'.  Some of the works are being
contributed by the artists to the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which manages
the Svalbard arctic seed vault and supports the world's genebanks,"
explained Jacqueline Martin-Miller de Velasco, Concept Developer and
Exhibition Curator.  

She explains that she saw a connection between her hometown world heritage
listed Jenolan Caves, the most spectacular limestone cave system in
Australia, and the Svalbard Seed Vault.

'I heard about the Svalbard Seed Vault and it reminded me of Lady Carrington
who, in the nineteenth century, was an early conservator of plants and loved
Jenolan - where I spent much of my early life.  There seemed to be a
possible link between the Svalbard Vault and Jenolan Caves, and I started
work on encouraging interest from many artists for an exhibition at Jenolan
in support of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which came to fruition in
September 2008," said Jacqueline.

"Artists from all round the world as well as Australia have now contributed
works for this 'Treasure of Seeds' exhibition, which brings the world of art
and the world of science together round a common theme."

"The works have been invited to challenge and stimulate and to encourage
dialogue and awareness in the community. The artists share a common bond and
individual awareness of eco-preservation, environmental and humanitarian

"The works are from some of the contemporary thinkers of our time, with
diverse life experiences such as archaeology, installation,
hyper-surrealism, sculpture, geology, environment, humanity, farming,
science and diversity of culture."

Artists include indigenous artist Gary Simon Jagamarra; John Dalsen, who
represented Australia in the Art Olympics; installation artist Dr Anne
Graham; AGNSW Sulman Prize finalist Carlos Barrios; poet Julia De La Rua;
Australian prospector Martin Chafer; Spain's environmental sculptor Miguel
Ponticu; Korea's Lee So-Young; outback artist Amber Martin, and Lithgow
artist Les Love. 

The exhibition will be officially opened by His Excellency Mr Lars A.
Wensell, Ambassador of Norway, with special guests Anthony Bond OAM,
Assistant Director of the Art Gallery of NSW and Dan Cove, Assistant
Director from the Jenolan Caves, and a presentation on Australia's role in
supporting the Svalbard Vault by Emeritus Professor John Lovett, a member of
the Executive Board of the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Professor Lovett says "Australia was one of the first countries to recognise
the importance of the concept of the Global Crop Diversity Trust and to make
substantial financial contributions towards the Trust attaining its
objectives, through AusAID and the Grains Research and Development

Professor Lovett explained that the Trust is seeking to establish an
endowment fund of $US 260,000,000, which will secure the future of plant
genetic resources forever.  

"We're about half way there" says Professor Lovett "with generous support
from countries around the world.  But there's plenty of opportunity for
other nations to join in. Perhaps, when their representatives have visited
'Treasure of Seeds' they'll encourage their governments to become

The exhibition is being supported by The Crawford Fund, Jenolan Caves
Reserve Trust, CSIRO Discovery, Nextmedia P/L.

For further information and to arrange interviews contact:
Cathy Reade, Public Awareness Coordinator, Crawford Fund 0413 575 934
Media welcome to arrange to view exhibition Friday morning.
Website for exhibition: http://treasureofseeds.linsket.com

More information about the ASC-list mailing list