Want to know how you can help save the planet? Textile artist Margaret Rowe has a thousand ways. Her solo show ‘1000 Flowers for the Planet’ has as its centrepiece an entire wall of crocheted flowers that provide positive and practical solutions.
Margaret’s powerful and personal statement comes from the heart. ‘I began the project in 2013 after I found out that Bayer had sued the European Commission to overturn a ban on the pesticides that are killing millions of bees. I had to do something.’
For 1000 days, Margaret created one crocheted flower together with an idea for improving our world. She posted these on her blog at https://1000flowersfortheplanet.tumblr.com/
‘Researching ideas and issues for the project was an immense learning curve, but I had to find out what was wrong with the planet in order to devise suggestions for change. Animal welfare, animal cruelty, factory farming and species extinction have been very difficult to read about. Environmental issues, including air and water pollution have been around for much longer than most would imagine, yet the problems still exist, and are worsening. Predictions for our future are grim.
‘BUT! There is hope. I devised 1000 Flowers for the Planet because I felt there was a need for positive commentary on the challenges we face as a human race.
‘All I ask is for each person to actively take up 1% of the ideas presented by 1000 Flowers for the Planet – things they are not currently doing. This would only require you to follow through on ten new ideas. Imagine if huge numbers of people changed just ten things in their life – the shift for the planet would be HUGE.’
Margaret has strong family connections to Geelong through her great-great-grandfather Alexander Webb, who migrated to Geelong in 1853 from Scotland, where he was a painter and decorator, from which he made his living in Australia.
‘Alexander Webb was also an accomplished artist and two important paintings are held in the Geelong Art Gallery: “Yarra St Geelong 1872” and “From Johnstone Park”. My maternal family have lived in Geelong ever since and I have many wonderful childhood memories of Geelong in the 1970’s’ Margaret recalls. https://www.margaretrowe.com.au/
1000 Flowers for the Planet will be open at UBU Gallery, which is located at the Fyansford Paper Mill. The gallery will be open on Friday to coincide with the Piano Bar and Truffleduck’s Good Friday Appeal and on Sunday, April 1 when the exhibition closes. https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/piano-bar-truffleduck-good-friday-appeal-tickets-44400919345
Story: Marcus Johnson Photo: Phil Hines Photography