Help preserve and share a unique herbarium of Tasmania's wild flora by documenting this important archive of botanical specimens and artwork collected over 30 years.

https://chuffed.org/project/taswildbotany .......is the link to my new Chuffed Crowdfunding campaign. I have just pressed LAUNCH!
Documenting my plant specimen, print collection and Tasmanian Orchid etchings at super high resolution, will allow the three threads of my work to be available for a multitude of uses and bring greater awareness of these plants and their habitat.

You will be investing in the development of a body of work, centred in respect for the natural world and a botanical historical record to be proud of: Educative, Historic and Gorgeous.
Please have a look, and if you can, please share around your own networks including by email.
This is an exciting project to get underway in September. I really hope you can join me : )

https://chuffed.org/project/taswildbotany

The Wace Plant Collection

Botanical artist and print maker Deborah Wace is on a mission to protect the wild botany of Tasmania. Deborah has spent many years living amonst the flora of the wild buttongrass plains and the deep rainforests of Tasmania, collecting and pressing plant specimens (sustainably and with permissions). She creates etchings depicting the precious and threatened native orchids and teaches printmaking techniques to raise awareness about these plant communities.

Her specimen and print collection has grown over the years into a significant archive of immense beauty forming a unique record of Tasmania's botanical heritage, including many threatened and endangered species. Her collection mirrors that made by French naturalist J J H Labillardiere and has importance in building cross cultural relationships valuing Tasmania's wild botany.

Currently this beautiful library of cultural and historical relevance has limited public exposure. Deborah wants to make the collection more available and increase awareness of these plants and their importance to the conservation of Tasmania's culture and enviornment.

The collection urgently needs to be preserved and curated in a more archival form as the organic specimens will deteriorate over time. Documenting is essential before there is any oxidising and discolouration.

The Challenge

After three decades of researching and representing Tasmanian flora, Deborah has determined that the best way to future-proof the collection is to preserve it in high quality digital form.

The archive will consist of image files of over 300 plantpressings and original printed specimens. All the equiment necessary to capture the archive at sufficiently high resolution is unfortunately very expensive, requiring a team of technical professionals. Creating the archive will entail two key stages:

PHOTOGRAPHY
Images will be captured utilising the very latest in digital technology. The equipment required is prohibitvely expensive, so the team has costed the hire of a camera and technician at $12,000 for a 2 week hire.

DIGITISING
to clean up and prepare digital files will cost $3000.

More about Deborah

 

Deborah was trained in Visual Arts by one of the world pre-eminent printmakers, Jorg Schmeisser, himself a a fine drawer of archeological artifacts and nature. Deb loves to draw, scribe etching plates, and play with the smooth pigments and colours. She is equally as passionate about the sources of her art, and collecting, observing and cataloging Tasmanian flora in the field, especially endangered and overlooked species.

Deborah has worked to protect the Type Locality of Rechereche Bay in Far South Tasmania, using her art and music as a vehicle for social change, helping a community to protect and conserve a historical landscape rich in cultural and botanical history. Her plant specimen collection links to the European Herbarium historical holdings from Tasmania and presents these in a contemporary setting, bringing these rich historical narrative to greater public awareness. 

Deborah volunteers at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens with the Orchid Conservation program, helping endangered species to be germinated, grown and nurtured in the lab before being planted out in the wild to rejuvenate endangered populations. Raising awareness about Threatened Species is key to her work as an advocate for Tasmania's wild botany.

Documenting her plant specimen, print collection and Tasmanian Orchid etchings at super high resolution, will allow the three threads of her work to be available for a multitude of uses and bring greater awareness of these plants and their habitat. 

This is a unique collection: unlike the important State Herbarium collections, these plants are pressed for perfect artistic display, not later dissection. Her collection showcases plants rarely observed, some critically endangered, many overlooked. They mirror the plant collections of JJH Labillardiere - the French naturalist to Tasmania in 1792-3, now held in Natural History Museums in Europe. 

Currently the collection exists as a library of immense beauty which no-one can access. Until Deborah can reproduce the library at high resolution, she cannot share with others this key to Art and Science in the Botany of Tasmania. Once digitised, Deb will make some of the material available for study purposes, and for the protection of threatened species and localities.

You can play a part in preserving this important collection of Tasmanian wild botany and saving its beauty for future generations. 

You will be investing in the development of a body of work, centred in respect for the natural world and a botanical historical record to be proud of: Educative, Historic and Gorgeous.

Thankyou, Deborah

Link to the campaign. Please share if you like to:   https://chuffed.org/project/taswildbotany

 

Deborah Wace