Tiny art to highlight Australia’s threatened species
From Orange-bellied Parrot monitoring in south-west Victoria, to the Silver Xenica translocation, to the Southern Bell Frog conservation facility, to prescribed burning to support Avenue Cassinia regeneration, and rare plant propagation in our nursery, a lot of NGT’s work centres around our local threatened species. More than 1800 plants and animals are declared threatened species in Australia, with National Threatened Species Day (7th of September) commemorating the date of the death of the last Tasmanian tiger in 1936.
Several months ago while scrolling Instagram I came across an interesting and ambitious project: ‘Tiny Art for Nature’. The creator and coordinator, Carmel Killin, has asked the public to help her create an exhibition including an illustration of each of Australia’s threatened species – no mean feat! People of all ages and ability levels from all over Australia are able to participate and artworks are created on pieces of recycled cardboard measuring just three by seven centimetres.
Although I am by no means an artist, I decided it would be fun to join in and so I selected three species. Two of the plants I chose are local species which we have grown at the NGT nursery – Sand Ixodia (Ixodia archillaeoides subsp. arenicola) and Trailing hop-bush (Dodonaea procumbens). Sand Ixodia is a small coastal daisy is rated vulnerable and can be found at just a few rocky cliff sites in south-east South Australia and south-west Victoria. Trailing hop-bush is a small prostrate shrub also rated vulnerable which NGT carried out a translocation of near Robe a few years ago. The third plant I chose is called Pale Umbrella Orchid (Bulbophyllum longiflorum) and I picked it simply because I liked the name! It grows in Queensland.
The exhibition will be called Day of the Species and if you’d like to get involved you can read more about the project and contact the organiser here. But you better be quick! The (revised) deadline is the end of July. You can also check out the artworks on Instagram here.