Carly Kotynski

Conservation Status

Australia has a huge number of native plant species and a long history of these plants inspiring artists and botanists alike. Early settlers were fascinated by the unique forms of the plants and wildflowers and they have inspired the development of motifs both in Australia and abroad.

Bottlebrush and wattles inspired my earlier artworks and as my research into further native plants progressed I was surprised to discover the high number of extinct and endangered plants that we have in Australia.

Modification of the natural landscape and destruction of vegetation for agriculture and urban development since colonisation has been large factors in the endangerment and extinction these plants. Since the 1990s however, various programs have been put in place to conserve our flora and combat problems such as soil erosion and salination due to large-scale clearing.

The most alarming discovery in my research was finding out the high percentage of the plants that had their status changed from least concern to rare to vulnerable to endangered in the last few years. This particular group of plants became the focus of my research but information and images of extinct and endangered plants can be difficult to find and so the plants that I have portrayed in these sculptures is but a small sample.

The installation of these works alludes to the fragility of these plants and the prospect of them becoming museum specimens in the future. As my research into endangered and extinct native Australian plants continues this body of work will grow.