Susan Hauri-Downing, Glass Cloche, earth arts, voices of nature

Susan Hauri-Downing

The orchid Drakaea elastica is endemic to the Swan Coastal Plain. As with other plants in this region, it is involved in a complex interspecies relationship with pollinators (the thynnine wasp, Zaspilothynnus gilesi) and mycorrhizal fungi for seed germination. The orchid has been declared critically endangered. This artwork commemorates this orchid and the other species that have been and will be lost. It acknowledges the role of plants and ecologies in colonisation and the ambivalence, importance and futility of conservation efforts in the face of human-induced environmental devastation. It honours our shared grief and loss, threatened, rare – extant.