Beth Jackson, curated the exhibition Bimblebox: art – science – nature
Beth is a contemporary art curator with over twenty years of professional experience. For the past ten years, Beth has specialised in public art practice and cultural engagement with the public realm. She has an extensive knowledge of contemporary art practice and practitioners, nationally and internationally. Her consultancy practice has involved working with both public and private sector clients nationally and projects have ranged from large-scale urban developments to remote and regional communities.
In Beth’s own words:
“The Bimblebox project is an artist-centred initiative which is born from a wider and deeper context. It is not surprising to me that this site of unique bio-diversity which has been the subject of environmental research, scientific study, practices of sustainable agriculture, personal and community bonds, has managed to attract a group of artists. The place itself has called out for a voice of its own, a creative language which can translate the preciousness this ecosystem holds for so many creatures and plants. These artists’ creative engagement with Bimblebox is a central part of The Nature Reserve’s story and to its future survival. Creativity is central to all our survival, to community and to social sustainability.
Bimblebox provides an opportunity to further the curatorial work I have produced which has explored the inter-relationship between art and the environment. Unfortunately Bimblebox does not have National Park status. It is vulnerable and threatened. This gives The Bimblebox project a different tone and, in many ways, offers a deeper challenge.
My professional life has been based in Brisbane and I have become well acquainted with many regional communities, including remote Indigenous communities. I have also had the pleasure of working with several of the Bimblebox artists over the years. I worked with Fiona MacDonald and with Alison Clouston and Boyd on developing artwork concepts for the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre – a project with a deep environmental focus. Many years ago, I worked with artist Pamela Croft when I curated an exhibition on motherhood for an artist-run space in Brisbane and was deeply moved by her artwork which attested to an experience of being a member of a stolen generation. Art addressing such serious matters really comes into its own, releasing deeply thought-provoking expression. Bimblebox calls for this caliber of response.
The artworks however must also inspire and delight. The days of seeking National Park status are perhaps drawing to a close. We are becoming painfully aware that even our most protected and prized environments such as the Great Barrier Reef are still under threat. We must all take an active, joyful and creative interest in caring for country. Projects such as Bimblebox can provide that inclusive social platform which reaches across boundaries and generates a sense of connection at many levels.”