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A common weed found in arable field margins that survives despite farmers’ best efforts provides the artistic inspiration for a new exhibition opening in Dundee this weekend.
Award-winning artist Jean Duncan used research work being carried out at the James Hutton Institute on Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) as the focus for her exhibition ‘CECHR Conversations’.
Since 2010 Jean has been the artist-in-residence at CECHR, the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience, which is a collaboration between the University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute.
Working with Dr Pete Iannetta and PhD student Wenni Deng she was given access to the Institute’s research and microscopic images of Shepherd’s Purse. These inspired her to create a sensitive and multi-layered approach to microscopic images of the weed that link the plant in the forms used in research to the hostile environment of agriculture and pesticides which it continues to survive in.
Jean commented: “I have had access to a fantastic and comprehensive collection of Capsella records, there is so much material to work from, and that’s only one weed!”
To accompany the exhibition Dr Pete Iannetta will give a free talk about how Shepherd’s Purse survives in such a hostile environment at 12.30pm on 14 March in the River Rooms at the University of Dundee. As well as Jean’s work, the exhibition also includes photographs, prints, films and models by CECHR staff.
The exhibition opens today (Friday 24 February) with a public talk at 6pm on the submerged landscape of Orkney by Caroline Wickham-Jones, Department of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen, and Dr Sue Dawson, University of Dundee.
It runs at the Lamb Gallery, Tower Building, University of Dundee from 25 February – 14 April 2012 and entry is free. Full details of opening times can be found on the exhibition page of the University of Dundee website.
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