The Drawing Room, Tannery Arts, Brunswick Wharf, 55 Laburnum Street, London E2 8BD

  • Melanie Jackson11
    Title : Melanie Jackson11
  • Melanie Jackson23
    Title : Melanie Jackson23
  • Melanie Jackson28
    Title : Melanie Jackson28
  • Melanie Jackson34
    Title : Melanie Jackson34
  • Melanie Jackson36
    Title : Melanie Jackson36
  • Melanie Jackson43
    Title : Melanie Jackson43
  • Melanie Jackson45
    Title : Melanie Jackson45
  • Melanie Jackson46
    Title : Melanie Jackson46
  • Melanie Jackson56
    Title : Melanie Jackson56
  • Melanie Jackson65
    Title : Melanie Jackson65

Melanie Jackson has been investigating links between industry, aesthetics and plant forms, taking a lead from Goethe’s notion of the Urpflanze. The Urpflanze - or primal plant - is Goethe’s imaginary plant that contains coiled up within it, the potential to generate all possible future plants. Contemporary plant science similarly assumes the ability to create as yet undreamt of botanical objects, using an array of tools and techniques, such as nanoscience, transgenics and biomimicry. Paradoxically science also looks to primordial plant matter for clues on how to proceed. Plant science becomes an art of morphology and mutation, re-presentation and transformation, characteristics it shares with the medium of drawing.

For her solo exhibition at The Drawing Room, Jackson presents, The Ur-pflanze (Part 1), the first stage of the ongoing investigation. An analogy is made between the gallery, greenhouse and laboratory. Using all the imaging technologies available to a non-scientist, Jackson articulates these curious transformations of form and scale, and shifts in time. Drawing is explored in 2, 3 and 4 dimensional forms - with sculptures fashioned from newspaper pulp and wooden armatures, reanimated plant manuals and collages, graphite drawings, sound recordings, animations - and a film composed of photographic stills recording every living plant the artist came into contact with during the 12 months leading up to the exhibition. There is a fascination with the innate processes and forms of botanical morphology, and in the ways in which this enters the economy and the imaginary through technological intervention. Here might be found particles blown up 1000-fold, giant gourds, acid pink begonia, mystical banyan, primordial plant matter and the industrial plantation.

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