Brisbane Botanica Festival 2021

The Brisbane Botanica Festival is annual festival delivered by the Brisbane City Council in Queensland, Australia. It features site-specific artworks from leading contemporary Australian artists and designers in an open-air exhibition located within the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. The artworks often respond to contemporary issues including climate change and engages audiences with tours, workshops and some installations that are best experienced at night. The Brisbane city council is an industry partner of the Queensland University of Technology where this project was pitched to us as part of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. You can read more about the festival here. 

Our Proposed Installation: "Redolence"

Redolence” is a proposal for an art installation and sensory experience designed for the Brisbane Botanica Festival for 2021 by team members Nicola Holtham, Alexia Johansen, Jack Jowsey and Angel Cenia Linding. The work consists of three large scale, geodesic domes, each of which contain their own unique scent including coffee, tobacco and sugarcane. The scents are derived from some of the original plant life that were introduced to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens during its establishment in the early 1800s. 

 

Redolence” is essentially an experimental collection of olfactory time capsules which treat the scents of  the original plant life of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens as horticultural memories of the site. This concept was born out of a mutual interest in sensory art and a strong belief that the artists’ role is to not only entertain but to create educational and informative experiences that provide audiences with the opportunity to learn. The work’s intention is to combine personal experience and site in an effort to strengthen the relationship between the individual and the land in which they occupy

My Role: 

Within this interdisciplinary team my role centred around my skills and knowledge as a visual artist. This included concept development, prototyping, visualisations as well as design and fabrication. A key part of this role was also research in each of these areas in order to propose a sound design and experience that adhered to the council's brief and the project's budget. 

Phase 1: Research and Concept Development

Our initial concept was influenced by our mutual interest in creating a sensory experience and an installation that would spark curiosity for the surroundings. The research undertaken within this phase centred around artists who had incorporated scent in to their works and writers who had delved into the opportunity that art has given artists to educate and inform. As the site was important to both our research and the Botanica Festival's brief I also undertook site research, making field notes and taking photographs of the site which would go on to form the foundation of our visualisations.

Collectively our research lead us to the idea of building large scale, bubble like constructions that would occupy a scent. They would allow participants to enter the structures and be immersed in the scent as they took in the surroundings of the gardens through the transparent covers. 

Phase 2: Realising the Structures

Collectively our research lead us to the idea of building large scale, bubble like constructions that would occupy a scent. They would allow participants to enter the structures and be immersed in the scent as they took in the surroundings of the gardens through the transparent covers. 

Phase 3: Re-developing our proof of Concept

Understanding that we needed to refine and prove that our structures could be made within budget, we conducted more research and as a result created new visualisations that would be presented to the Brisbane City Council for our first proposal. 

Phase 4: Prototyping and Final Visualisations

  • Instagram

©2020 by Nicola Holtham. Proudly created with Wix.com