Online exhibition: Static Biota

Online exhibition: Static Biota

Welcome to the online home of Static Biota, an exhibition by Carly Kotynski and Emma Lindsay that ran at the private BCM Crucible Gallery. The exhibition was curated by Miriam Carter, the recipient of BCM and artisan's Emerging Curator Mentorship. For more information contact artisan at or (07) 3215 0800.


About the BCM Crucible Gallery

artisan formed a partnership with BCM in 2011 which involves the curation of a number of exhibitions in the Crucible Gallery space within the BCM office to showcase the best of Queensland craft and design artists, as well as an Emerging Curator program.

The Emerging Curator program develops the talents of an emerging arts curator under the guidance of the artisan team, and the program was recognised in the 2012 Australia Council’s Young and Emerging Artists category of the AbaF Queensland Awards. The artisan/BCM partnership is helping to develop future arts leaders, support Queensland’s craft and design community, and also provides exhibition opportunities for Queensland’s talented artists.

About Static Biota

Our interactions with the landscape have changed dramatically over the years. Urbanisation has vastly changed the land on which we live, and the way in which we come to understand our biota – the flora and fauna of our region. Where we would once easily encounter local plants and animals, Australia’s increasing rates of urbanisation (currently 88.7% of the population live in urban areas compared to 36% in 1901) has meant these interactions are progressively static – more likely to occur in the form of museum displays or data accessed online.

Looking back into Australia’s colonial history, artistic endeavours clearly document the arrival of Europeans and the way in which they sought to understand this new land. Scientific and botanical illustrations from this period produced a plethora of diagrams which were sent back to Europe along with specimens. Stored in museums, these objects were a source of fascination and wonder – collected for the purpose of further study and exhibition, yet ironically far removed from their original context.

Brisbane based artists Carly Kotynski and Emma Lindsay are two artists who respond to these themes through examining museum based specimens of Australia’s flora and fauna. Within this realm both artists have chosen to focus on those species currently listed as endangered.

Kotynski’s fine copper wire works depict native plants endemic to Queensland. The series Conservation status (2013) utilises the aesthetics of museum specimens by re-creating the botanical drawings of endangered plants in three dimensional forms. The fragility of these plants is further suggested by Kotynski’s act of setting some of these specimens in resin.  Concerned with the high percentage of plants that have had their conservation status altered from rare to endangered over the past few years, Kotynski seemingly shrouds her work as a way of alluding to the potential future of these plants existing solely as museum specimens.

As a painter, Emma Lindsay is interested in representing the reality of endangerment and extinction. At the core of her practice is Lindsay’s desire to reveal ornithological specimens of Australia held in museum collections across the world. Her paintings depict the specimens as posed in-situ on museum trays. Consequently the feathers of these taxidermied birds are often ruffled or out of place – poignantly commenting on the disjunction from habitat that has occurred for these now endangered species.

Both Lindsay and Kotynski seek to draw attention to our changing biota through their works – ultimately questioning whether we choose to experience a static biota inside a museum, or work towards greater sustainability of the living exhibit outside.

Top Image: Emma Lindsay, Princess Parrot, 2013. Oil on linen. 250x400mm. Photograph by Emma Lindsay.