Natural Selection


Australian lawn, Belgian linen, Canadian cedar
504H x 504W x 120mmD

Series: Grass Work

Made from carefully cultivated media, Natural Selection presents a landscape escaping its borders. In Charles Darwin's theories on natural and sexual selection, organisms adapted to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce. In the face of unpredictable conditions, the wall-hung Natural Selection disrupts the process, situating the artwork as a metaphor for survival. With its own internal operating system, Natural Selection is designed to endure. The compressed turf has a dense root structure, hand-stitched into the linen substrate. The Australian couch grass presides at the top of the grass-chain – invading and dominating other species, and capable of being revived after years of drought. The kiln-dried Canadian cedar stretcher, known for its stability and longevity, offers an ideal frame. And the Berge linen, the finest Belgian linen (also known as lawn) is a 'superior' substrate, the most suitable for history painting. The work’s natural yet archival materials contest art conservation conventions and the artwork’s end form. 

Suspended in a dormant state, Natural Selection teases with the prospect of being revived – reproduced, as desired. Both dry and sensual, it tempts viewers to get close and stroke its tendrils, prompting art keepers to install signs, like 'Keep off the Grass', to preserve the status quo.