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Subtext & Discourse EP3 - Kate Robertson
Hard to believe that is has already been a month since Berlin Art Week and the opening of the 8th EMOP Berlin, European Month of Photography festival. During that time we presented three significant solo exhibitions throughout the city:

We were lucky enough to have both Kate Robertson and Derek Kreckler visiting Berlin during this very busy time, and took the opportunity to recording individual interviews with each of them. Sophie Dumaresq, who we exhibited a few year ago was also in Berlin for EMOP, an interview with her will also be online soon. 

Kate Robertson is an artist we’ve been exhibiting since 2014 when we presented her series Celestial Body Model during our Transcendental abstract photography group exhibition, since then we’ve curated work from her Dust Landscapes series and Cosmic Walks into other shows, however this will be her first solo exhibition with us and also her first international solo exhibition. 

The interview with Kate Robertson & Jeffrey Noro was recorded with Michael Dooney on Saturday 29. September 2018 at Jarvis Dooney Galerie, Berlin. 

RECORDING THE MEDICINAL PLANTS OF SIWAI, BOUGAINVILLE

This photographic series documents medicinal plants from the Siwai region on Bougainville Island (Papua New Guinea) at a time of significant change in its cultural and political  landscape. It considers new photographic modes for sensitively engaging  with deep and living histories, by aligning analogue and digital characteristics found within the image and local knowledge systems.

Lumen prints are created on location in a cameraless method, through a reaction between environmental elements such as sunlight and plant extractions and light-sensitive paper, resulting in a residual imprint of the plant's chemical properties. The lumen prints, in their latent  state, journeyed to Australia for a digital “fixing” process and are translated into data through the scanography process.

The series acknowledges the communities’ (urgent) desire for equilibrium between traditional and new knowledge systems, to allow both to thrive in an increasingly global society.

KUNA SIUWAI POKING, Medicinal Plants from Siwai (publication)

Five years ago Chief Alex Dawia, Taa Lupumoiku Clan from the Siwai region of Bougainville invited me to chronicle medicinal  plants in his region. His purpose was twofold; a positive recognition of Bougainville and a preservation of cultural values, through exhibition and a book. We are thrilled to have finally completed both, through following methods of slowness, openness to project divergences and ongoing dialogue to ensure local people benefited in ways that they need and want. The project has been developed with the guidance of The  Kainake Project, a community organisation in Bougainville that focuses on the need for  environmental conservation to be undertaken with community development  for empowerment and sustainability.

The book details over thirty readily available plants and their medicinal properties through image and text. Motuna, local language to the area, is prioritised throughout the book.

Books  will be distributed to schools in Siwai, and a portion of books will be for purchase, with all money going to support other community projects in Siwai. Books will be ready for distribution early November, register your interest in a book by emailing [email protected].

We are very grateful for the funding support from UNDP to The Kainake Project to produce these books. 

Kate Robertson, 11. September 2018.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION