It has taken 200 years for non-indigenous people (Europeans) to appreciate the value of mangroves. And what of the aesthetic attraction of the mangrove forest? How long has it taken for mangroves art to be appreciated and valued?
Since the Mangroves from the Water (MFTW) began in 2013 the aims have been to highlight the beauty and importance of the mangroves through multidisciplinary group art exhibitions to encourage care and protection globally. MFTW has successfully been able to establish and encourage mangroves art that is created through ecological intimacy, developing a reflective attachment to time spent within the mangroves.
Over the years MFTW has inspired many artists to explore the mangroves through kayaking to increase engagement, awareness and to stimulate art creation from this experience. A recent radio interview occurred in February of this year with Jacqui Dreessens during which the artist stated that MFTW had introduced her to the mangroves, an up until that time unknown area of Geelong (the Sustainable Hour 2023).
Now is the time for art collectors to play a role in building a nascent mangroves art market in southern Victoria. I believe that will raise awareness of mangroves to a Victorian audience. In principle when we love a tree, nostalgic memories arise, we consider collecting the art that represents this tree. The gallery director Karen Spreadborough welcomes the idea of hosting a mangroves exhibition in her wonderful gallery space, appropriately located in the locality of the Barwon River mangroves.
I’m happy to announce the upcoming Mangroves Art Project at the Hive Ocean Grove Gallery in November 2023. Details about the exhibition will be announced soon.
Interview with Jacqui Dreessens: Sustainable Hour, no. 447, Investigating the reality through journalism, arts and artificial intelligence, 94.7 the Pulse, February 2023.
Zahidah Zeytoun Millie