The alchemical life

Working with the potency of an alchemical language to explore plants enables me to imagine their dreams and desires. A series of collected images of
artworks that reference the lives of plants forms this presentation. This embodies the possibility of transformation and a fabricated realm that is based
on research as well as imaginings. Do plants dream of their attractions to certain sounds and sensations that are offered by other plants, insects, birds,
and animals, including humans? While it's broadly acknowledged that plants sleep and wake according to temperature, moisture, and light cycles, my work cultivates a vision beyond this, into their alchemical afterlife. My thoughts spring to Barcelona's Liceu Opera, which opened for its first post-pandemic concert to an audience of plants, who moved and trembled with the music.

Like my work, this is not simply humans projecting anthropomorphic qualities onto plants but a testament to the idea that our emotions, our sensations, our
lives are interwoven into the breath of plants.


Janet Laurence is a leading Sydney-based artist who exhibits nationally and internationally. Her practice examines our physical, cultural and conflicting relationship to the natural world. She creates immersive environments that navigate the interconnections between organic elements and systems of nature.

Within the recognised threat to so much of the life world, Janet explores what it might mean to heal the natural environment, fusing this with a sense of communal loss and search for connection with powerful life-forces. Her work is included in museum, university, corporate and private collections as well as within architectural and landscaped public places.

Written by