Presented within Radiant Pavilion - the Jewellery and Object Biennial, Drawing Out the Gold is an immersive exhibition combining architecture, sound and narrative jewellery and object. Audiences were invited to enter a dimly lit architecturally restored Crypt, where the low light focused the attention on a window through to the dirt and foundations under the church above. Recognized for the galleries unique acoustics, a soundscape envelopes. Sounds of violent storm, cavernous sounds and things growing and erupting from the soil slowly recede and are overtaken by composer Luke Howard's Hymn; at first a lament that builds to a transcendent, multilayered exultation. Two other curious objects stand beside each other in the middle of the crypt. A huge golden tray with an offering of soil therein, and a delicate Crown, made of gold and silver.
Witnessing the decimation of his childhood land through industrial gold mining, nano- scientist Jorge Gardea-Torresdey discovered that Alfalfa can mine alluvial gold through phytoremediation; drawing precious metal from the soil into its roots, stems and leaves.
Drawing Out the Gold looks beyond the harsh means by which the artist’s materials are mined and pays homage to scientific innovations that offer us an alternative approach; a collaboration with the ingenuity of the natural world.
An offering of soil reveres the potential contained within the earth. The Crown of Golden Alfalfa adorns the head, symbolising a shift in thinking. Its flat underside encircles the head like a halo. A historic reference to halos depicted in religious art. Symbolising illuminated wisdom and bestowed authority. Continued...