Serrated Tussock 2008

serrated tussock, grass, noxious, weed, art, garden hose, soaker hose, Malmsbury, sculpture,

I was asked to make some work which responded to the area of Malmsbury in Victoria (see also Raining in My Heart). These were hung in the corners of the gallery, creeping into the periphery of the space, and the vision of the audience.
On the drive to Malmsbury, I had come across some warning signposts which read “Beware of Serrated Tussock”. Becoming slightly alarmed, I wondered what this was, and whether it was hiding behind a tree on the side of the road, waiting to attach itself to the side of my car and tussock me to death (or “tussockate” me, as it were). In short, I thought of a horror movie with a giant grassy-headed beast come to take over the world. As it turns out, I wasn’t far wrong. The serrated tussock is a Weed of National Significance which is a problem for Australian farmland, and it has its eye on the Malmsbury area. As part of the Australian government’s Defeating the Weed Menace program, Malmsbury was surveyed and found to be well-controlled with a low incidence of the weed.[1] I’m not so convinced. After seeing those signs, I will be watching my back…

[1] Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party, Progress Report 2007, Geelong Victoria, Department of Primary Industries 2008 p 21

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