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Artist Journal - Plant Classification - an art installation of epiphytic Tillandsias - © Lloyd Godman

This installation of a collection of Tillandsias (air plants), in a museum case came from my interest in the classification of plants, particularly Bromeliads. The museum case had lent against the wall under the stairs at the art school where I worked of months. Reading the literature on bromeliads it was clear that a huge emphasis was placed on naming and classification, arguments developed about who discovered what, how some plants had been placed in the wrong genus, and even how other plants needed their own new genus - and yet nature seemed oblivious to any of this, and continued on its way. Even now new genus are created, plants moved from one to another.

Linden Cowell, who lectured at the school and had worked as a curator at the Otago Museum had managed to locate some period museum labels from me to print the Latin names of the plants onto.

On the left the plants were perfectly labeled and carefully arranged - while towards the right the plants become more randomly arranged - the labeling begins to slide from the support and the classifications begin to deconstruct. Outside the case the plants escaped up a plain wall - back to nature.

The work evolved further when spraying the plants as the ink used for the printing ran.


The work dove tailed into the on going - Colonize series


Further work is has been under progress on the Classification concept from 2007, it involves growing new hybrid species of Bromeliads - but the project will take 4 - 5 year to grow into a workable idea. At present some Bromeliads have been pollinated, germinated and gown on for a year or so. But this will take 4 -5 years before the new species will mature -