From the 1850s, the City Botanic Gardens were a key location for importation, testing and the distribution of tropical plants which would go on to bolster Queensland’s agricultural industry. Rachael Sarra deconstructs this use of the land in Who Reaps What You Sowed, which provides two viewpoints on the Botanic Gardens: one that considers the introduction of exotic plants as a form of environmental invasion upon Country, and one that champions the Western idea of agricultural innovation. She explains:
It is through this gaze that the western world may see this as a wildly successful endeavour. However, through a lens grounded in spiritual and cultural connections to these lands, evidence of this profitable CULTivation of such tropical fruits could be seen as perpetuating colonial harm. Grounded here, on Aboriginal lands, we should ask, Who Reaps What You Sowed?
City in the Sun artwork credits
Who Reaps What You Sowed 2021
Digital artwork on wallpaper
Courtesy the artist