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Museum of Brisbane

MoB x Laura Patterson Silk Scarf

MoB x Laura Patterson Silk Scarf

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Laura Patterson Family portrait 2021

Lara Patterson's practice reflects on the Victorian-era European fern raze known as pteridomania, which saw ferms collected and exported around the world, coveted in private and public collections. 

In the 1820s, English explorer and botanist Alan Cunningham held the title of King's Botanist to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, under which he collected plant specimens from Australia and New Zealand. Laura's paintings feature the Slender Tree Fern (Cyathea Cunninghamii), which Cunningham collected during trips from Brisbane to nearby rainforests including the area now known as Lamington National Park.

Laura's paintings examine the role Queensland's old growth rainforests have involuntarily played within the broader context of the worldwide plant trade. The frames echo Victorian glasshouse and Wardian case designs, in which the ferms were transported and cultivated. The decorative frames reference the practice of collecting as a way of imposing orer and control over native plants, while elevating their exoticism to a cult-like status.

Materials: 100% Silk

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