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Member Spotlight l Renata Buziak

Monday, March 13, 2023 8:39 AM | Anonymous


March 13, 2023

This week we recognize  Renata Buziak, and her almost twenty-year practice as a photo-media artist creating images of medicinal plants by an experimental biochrome process which she has developed.

Biochromes are generated by arranging plant samples on photographic emulsions, and allowing them to transform through the bacterial micro-organic activities that are part of cyclic decay and regeneration. This process of developing images through decomposition led me to work with time-lapse photography, which allows recording the blossoming and movement of fungi and microbes.” RB

This art and science endeavor traces the activities of the microbes, reveals the complex process of decay, while addressing its metamorphic power. 

click images for more info

For thousands of years plants have been used for their healing properties throughout the world. Many edible and medicinal plants, including various species of Eucalyptus, were used by Quandamooka people on North Stradbroke Island as food and for treatments of various conditions and illnesses. In Buziak's series titled Tree Line (above) from 2012, she presents the Eucalyptus species Corymbia gummifera (bloodwood), which is recognized for medicinal qualities including the essential oil and is considered a bactericide. The images are the result of micro organic activities present during decay, celebrating their healing, cultural and visual qualities and highlighting their significance in the cycle of life.

Polish Meadows, 2018-2019 (above) is a series of works focusing on medicinal flora of Southeast Poland, many of which are internationally recognized herbs with medicinal properties, such as nettle or elderberry. "During my childhood, I was introduced to the therapeutic power of local plants by my mother and grandmother and joined them in collecting herbs and weeds to make home remedies. More recently, my visits to Poland have led to a rediscovery of some of these same flora spontaneously growing in and around my hometown." RB

The Wrong Kind of Beauty, 2018 (above) is a series of works created by Bloom Collective, including Buziak, which were made during an Artist in Residence Science (AIRS) Program with the Science Division of the Department of Environment and Science (DES). The works are an embodied, experiential response to the fragility of the landscape produced by the gullying process. The harrowing and ongoing drama of the landscape, simultaneously reveals moments of delicate sculptural beauty, explored here through poetry, movement, sound and visual documentation. Biochrome images of soil featured on paper, fabrics, and time-lapse videos, were created with soil samples collected from the site, and from the Bowen River catchment. Buziak's biochromes were used to present traces of micro-organic and chemical transformations recorded over several weeks on photographic emulsions, and depict the diversity in soil types and show that even highly erodible soils are living.

In 2022, Buziak was the inaugural Artist-in-Residence on the Binna Burra Cultural Landscape where she created her Gondwanan Biochrome series (below) with plants located at Binna Burra. Located on the Yugambeh language groups’ country, in the World Heritage Gondwana Rainforest of Australia in Woonoongoora / Lamington National Park, Binna Burra allows visitors to experience unique flora, of which ancestral lineages go back to Gondwanaland millions of years ago.

Renata Buziak is a biochrome artist, researcher and educator working at the nexus of art and science, with a particular interest in nature. By bending the rules of traditional photography and letting photographic materials interact with organic matter, Buziak has developed a unique process of creating art that she calls the biochrome. At Binna Burra in Queensland, Buziak has developed and led a foundation year of the new Art. Nature. Science. Program as the Program Director, where she managed a group of volunteers and delivered 30 events, a book, and a podcast. Her innovative practice of collaborating with nature has led her to work as the ECO Harmony Guide with homeowners, business owners and leaders to help enhance the experience of their spaces in harmony with the natural world. Buziak’s biochromes have been displayed in solo and group exhibitions, nationally and internationally. She has received several awards for her work, and is featured in private and public collections. Buziak received her Doctor of Philosophy from Queensland College of Art (QCA), Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia (2011-2016). https://renatabuziak.com

Featured Images (top to bottom): ©Renata Buziak, Habitat, 2015, is a collaborative project between photographic artists Renata Buziak and Lynette Letic, collecting visuals and verbal stories of various residential gardens of Greater Brisbane, Moreton Bay in Queensland (previously known as Pine Rivers) in order to provide historic and cultural material specific to the region; Polish Meadows, 2018-2019; The Wrong Kind of Beauty, 2018, biochrome time-lapse stills of surface soil ferrosol sample from a grazing property in the Bowen River Catchment, exhibited at Art meets Science Exhibition at the Ecosciences Precinct Boggo Road, Dutton Park Qld, Australia; Gondwanan Biochromes, 4-15 Dec 2022, Binna Burra, Queensland; Portrait of the artist by Pete Purnell.

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