Exploring the plant and human exchange in a Blue Mountains Cultural Centre exhibition

After a month in Denmark working with other artists, Katoomba architect Hugo Moline is buzzing from the ideas exchanged and new possibilities.

The Visitors: Hugo Moline (pictured) and Heidi Axelsen have an exhibition opening at the Cultural Centre. An artist residency in Denmark was influential.

The Visitors: Hugo Moline (pictured) and Heidi Axelsen have an exhibition opening at the Cultural Centre. An artist residency in Denmark was influential.

Moline and his partner Heidi Axelsen, a sculptor, took part in an artist residency at the Kirsten Kjaer Museum in Frostrup, Denmark, which helped inform an exhibition at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, opening on December 9.

The Visitors is about “the different ways that human and plant worlds come and visit each other”.

“The show as a whole highlights how dependent we are on the plant world,” Moline said.

The Visitors explores alternate means of encounter and exchange between the human and botanical worlds. Rather than simply using plants to do things for us, could we work for them? The exhibition investigates the potential of this ‘plant agency’ in the Katoomba area.

Moline said the artist residency “was a good opportunity to work in a community of international artists”.

While in Denmark, the couple also worked with Swedish artist and architect Kerstin Bergendal. Based in Copenhagen, she has been looking at how communities which have been established for many years undergo change and incorporate new developments.

Julie Paterson is also exhibiting at the Cultural Centre. ​Image courtesy of the artist and Australian Design Centre. Photo by Armelle Habbib.

Julie Paterson is also exhibiting at the Cultural Centre. ​Image courtesy of the artist and Australian Design Centre. Photo by Armelle Habbib.

It’s about the integration of new housing and making the best use of open space, which could include social programs and public art, and bridging the divide between what the people want and developers’ plans.

The couple will work through a similar process next year in a development they’re part of in Waterloo.

“Before planning is complete we’ll work with the local community in a plan that informs the landscape … there will be workshops where we generate ideas from the community,” he said.

The Visitors is showing until January 14. The exhibition will be opened by Ian Milliss on Friday, December 8 from 6-8pm, with artist talks from 11am-1pm on December 9.

Also showing from December 9 at The Cultural Centre is Julie Paterson’s Cloth: From Seeds to Bloom. It showcases the 20-year textile practice of Paterson, who specialises in making contemporary and natural furnishing fabric by hand, locally and sustainably.