Entwined is a drawing installation that illustrates the fragility, vulnerability and interdependence of species. The small, semi transparent drawings invite the viewer to engage closely with the predicament of native orchids, a disappearing beauty.
This work was originally created to be displayed for Knox City's biannual public Arts festival, Immerse. The City of Knox has undergone a significant urban boom in the last 5 decades, which has eventuated in a great loss of native flora and fauna. In spite of this, it still holds a precious environment with biodiverse ecosystems. When even one piece of the delicate network that forms an ecosystem is affected, the repercussions echo through the entire web of living things.
During preliminary research I was fascinated to find that there are currently dozens of species of orchids in the City of Knox and noted that many of them are classified as endangered. In fact, they make up the majority of plants species which are at risk of extinction.
Through consultation with experts, I found that orchids, due to their innate fragility serve as sign posts for the health of the entire ecosystem. As I discovered, orchids can only germinate through a very particular relationship with specific fungi. Without these fungi, the orchid cannot grow. Furthermore, these specific fungi often cannot survive without the existence of particular trees in the same area. This information propelled me into a world of discovery, an overwhelming realisation that everything is connected. Without one thing the other does not exist, it points to the absolute fragility of the environment and why we must work so hard to protect and understand it.
It was the vulnerability of the orchid which drew me to investigate it further. So often, only seen as a stunning but obvious decorative plant, known for its exquisite beauty, variety and uniqueness. We admire them aesthetically, without knowing their hidden, complex and essential relationships to fungi. Due to their precise requirements, they are one of the most vulnerable and fragile families of flora. Orchids also hold strong symbolism for many cultures, where they can represent love, luxury, strength, virility and, quite fittingly, worshipped as guardians of the forest.