Exploring environmental and ecological rights, Sydney based photographic artist and visual activist Sally McKay presents Seed The Change in her third solo exhibition at .M Contemporary, Sydney.
At the intersections of nature, knowledge and representation lays the work of artist and visual activist Sally McKay. From her research on genetically modified seeds, transnational organisations’ patenting of agriculture, diminishing seed biodiversity and the possibility of a resultant ecological catastrophe, McKay showcases highly sophisticated and immersive imagery that encapsulates her concerns for the future of seeds.
Seed the Change places the Moreton Bay Chestnut, a native seed found in few places within Australia and the pacific, including McKay’s home suburb in NSW, at the centre of her exploration. Fastidiously arranging over 3,000 collected seeds into intricate designs, documenting each instalment with exquisite mastery over light and colour. McKay engenders the function of aesthetics as a way of masking the commentary pertaining to the devastating consequences facing humanity as a result of seed extinction.
Presented en masse, the Moreton Bay Chestnut seeds signify the thousands of seed types and accompanying local knowledge lost to extinction over the past 100 years. Alongside the exorbitant debt killing farmers and destroying lives globally as a result of seed interference. Herein, McKay’s connection to her locale, through seed, becomes paramount when considering how plant life has shaped and guided humanity over millennia, and in questioning how the current industrialisation of agriculture will shape the future of humanity.
McKays’ photographs invite audiences to relish in the incredibility of colour and detail, akin to the magnificence of the natural landscape. While her installation, orchestration and control evokes greater inquiry into the ramifications of environmental manipulation by the hands of humanity.
Sally McKay lives and works in Sydney and is represented by .M Contemporary. After two successful exhibitions at .M Contemporary, alongside showings at Sydney Contemporary 2018 and 2019, McKay was invited to exhibit in the core artistic program at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2019, Australia’s leading contemporary photographic biennale. Trained in photography, McKay harnessed her management of light and detail while working for 10 years as a commercial portrait photographer. Seed The Change is McKay’s third exhibition at .M Contemporary, Sydney, and continues her on-going research into environmental and ecological rights, and how her advocacy can transpire through photography.