PATRIZIA BIONDI - My Last Breath 1
|Materials:||Recovered glass objects, recovered crystal chandelier parts, recovered plastic plumbing, recovered removalist trolley tyre, glass frit, recovered banksia pods burnt in the 2019/2020 bushfires on Mount Banks NSW|
|Dimensions:||80 x 50 x 27cm (approx.)|
|Artist:||Patrizia Biondi (NSW)|
Nature has historically been the subject of folklore, superstition, mythology, spirituality, religion, philosophy, artistic inspiration and scientific study. Yet, the most indelible impressions of nature that have shaped western consciousness for the last five hundred years are the legacy of Renaissance pastoralism and the Romantic sublime. The farm idyll, the picturesque voyages, the scenic house in the country, the solitary cabin in the woods, the tranquillity of nature, the majestic mountain tops, are romantic remnants that still form our interpretations of the natural realm. Suburban gardens are grown and shaped to provide shelter, smells, sights and colours that become a microcosm of the countryside, meant to soothe and invigorate. But nature beyond human vision is not the arcadian dream, or the Rousseaunian example of moral virtue, or the Romantic source of spiritual regeneration. It is not a manicured lawn, a well pruned shrub or a spotless parterre garden. Nature outside human conception is dirt, which is soil, earth, sand, clay, dust, mud, ashes, a world of micro particles in which a perennial organic equilibrium is accompanied by an unstoppable chaos where life is born, thrives, strives, multiplies, dies and survives, inexorably and relentlessly, every moment. Death in dirt is life for others, as micro-organisms devour matter that has lost its life and begins to decay. In doing so, these creatures help surrounding life to thrive. The dead matter that they feed on allows them to perpetuate the mineral cycle that produces the water and soil nutrients indispensable for other forms of life to survive, including us. Despite its cruciality, we recoil from dirt. We sweep it from our driveways, we wipe it from our shoes, we cover it up in our backyards with sparkly green grass. We use it to build on, to extract things from, to manufacture things with. When we die, we become dirt. We disappear into those micro particles and become nature itself. But we rarely recognise that nature is just that - dirt. Still, dirt does not care. What happens in dirt happens regardless of human agency. Dirt will survive, regenerate, produce life and thrive, long after humanity is gone.