EXOBOTANY: Plants from Other Planets
Most depictions of extra-terrestrial life seem to focus on fauna (animals) rather than flora. The classics of SF like Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles have very little mention of native plants. This is also true in SF films, think about films like E.T., Alien or the recent Arrival and Life. One of the few films that featured extensive alien plant life was James Cameron’s Avatar. The plants shown in that film were primarily based on Cameron’s underwater explorations, i.e. marine invertebrates. The world depicted, Pandora, was filled with what looked like Earthly undersea creatures like jellyfish and anemone. It’s fairly rare to see truly extra-terrestrial plant life shown.
Exobotany: Plants from Other Planets was inspired by science and speculative fiction, Javanese batik designs, Indonesian exotic plants and a collection of cacti on display in the desert of southern California.
These are drawings, paintings, sculpture and digital images created over the last few years, created in Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Lombok, Gili Air, Bali and Java, including the cities of Cirebon, Yogyakarta and Jakarta.
These creations are speculations of what may be out there. Most of us alive today will very likely never know how close these are. While they are works of imagination during their creation questions about the nature of life throughout the universe arose: Is symmetry or bifurcation (branching) common outside Earth? Are “geo-” or “helio-” tropism (attraction to the Earth and Sun) purely a phenomenon of our planet?
The nature of color in extra-terrestrial horticulture was also a consideration. Green, as we know, is the primary hue of Earth plants so no green is apparent in these. Few Earth planets are black or mixes of certain shades that appear in these un-Earthly flora.
The miniature air-dried clay pots were made with the assistance of Indonesian craftsperson Fitria Augustina.