A left lane must turn left road leads to the Ku-rin-gai Wildflower Garden, with most motorists merging back into the fast moving right lanes at the last minute rather than slowing down and following the road to the 123ha park. It is uncuriously peaceful and the distant roar of the traffic fades as you wander further down the tracks. One of the rangers tells me, they were laid by an Aboriginal elder who worked for the council at the time when the park was set up and whose name graces one of the bridges.
The work we made for the festival Urban Ecology is about fostering an awareness and connection with place. It highlights the intersection between man-made reproduction and the natural environment and the importance of engaging with it sustainably. In the gardens here, where natural bushland brushes up against urban life, yet creates an oasis of calm; it asks the viewer to be present and connect with the existing ecologies.
We were privileged not only to be the recipients of the first prize, but also to be able to spend time with some of the devoted park rangers and members of the Australian Plant Society who kindly donated their time and their stories. It has also given me an appreciation of wild flowers that I was unaware of before, noticing and distinguishing them perhaps for the first time. Special thanks to Denis, Jenny, Bob, Judy and Les.