SEED the Change
Exploring environmental and ecological rights, Sydney based photographic artist
and visual activist Sally McKay presents Seed The Change in her third solo exhibition
at .M Contemporary, Sydney.
At the intersections of nature, knowledge and representation lays the work of artist
and visual activist Sally McKay. From her research on genetically modified seeds,
transnational organisations’ patenting of agriculture, diminishing seed biodiversity
and the possibility of a resultant ecological catastrophe, McKay showcases highly
sophisticated and immersive imagery that encapsulates her concerns for the future
Seed the Change places the Moreton Bay Chestnut, a native seed found in very
few places within Australia and the pacific, including McKay’s home suburb in NSW,
at the centre of her exploration. Fastidiously arranging over 3,000 collected seeds
into intricate designs, documenting each instalment with exquisite mastery over
light and colour. McKay engenders the function of aesthetics as a way of masking
the commentary pertaining to the devastating consequences facing humanity as a
result of seed extinction.
Presented en masse, the Moreton Bay Chestnut seeds signify the thousands of
seed types and accompanying local knowledge lost to extinction over the past 100
years. Alongside the exorbitant debt killing farmers and destroying lives globally
as a result of seed interference. Herein, McKay’s connection to her locale, through
seed, becomes paramount when considering how plant life has shaped and guided
humanity over millennia, and questioning how the current industrialisation of
agriculture will shape the future of humanity.
McKays’ photographs invite audiences to relish in the incredibility of colour and
detail, akin to the magnificence of the natural landscape. While her installation,
orchestration and control evokes greater inquiry into the ramifications of
environmental manipulation by the hands of humanity.