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Where: Santos Museum of Economic Botany, Adelaide Botanic Garden, Adelaide

When: 2 March – 24 July 2022

Dates and time: Wednesday – Sunday; 10am – 4pm

Cost: Free entry, tickets are not required

In this delicate exhibition, see how artist Cara Johnson transforms environmental refuse into beautifully crafted art.

In Overlay, Cara Johnson repurposes collected agricultural refuse, weeds and debris from environmental regeneration projects to expertly create handmade jewellery and art pieces.

The exhibition tells an important narrative about the harsh human impact of agricultural and land clearing practices.

Talking about her work - which uses plastics, netting, wire and weeds - Johnson explains that the lines we generate in our world inspired the exhibition.

“In this exhibition, I explore lines and interfaces that sit between people and plants. I see them in fence lines, stacked bales of hay and in the unnaturally neat rows of trees that have been planted in an attempt to lessen winds that whip across cleared ground.

“I’m considering the overlap and tensions between land clearing and attempted repair.

“Using tree guards in my work is a way of processing the scramble to fix degraded land. Tree guards can be seen as symbolic of the hope and hopelessness associated with landscape regeneration,” said Johnson.

Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium Director, Michael Harvey, said Johnson’s work tells an important narrative about the harsh human impact of agricultural and land clearing practices.

“Cara Johnson transforms materials into delicate and beautifully crafted pieces using agricultural refuse, weed species and what remains from regeneration projects such as tree guards, willow, silage netting and bailing twine.”

“Overlay is a considered and thoughtful look into the tensions within the human/plant relationship and is a timely reminder of our dependence upon plants and the need to preserve and protect them,” said Mr Harvey.

Please remember to:

• Practice good hygiene, wash your hands regularly, and utilize the hand sanitiser available while in the Museum.

• For more COVID-related information, please visit

About Cara
Cara Johnson’s craft-based works interrogate tensions and narratives surrounding land use. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (First Class Hons.) at RMIT University in 2016, where she is a current PhD Candidate and sessional lecturer.

Cara exhibits widely nationally and internationally, notably Paper Art 2017 at CODA Museum in the Netherlands and in Elegy at Gallery Funaki in 2020. This year her works were selected for Schmuck 2021 in Munich, and the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize.

Cara’s works are held in various private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria.


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