Nature Strip

This ongoing series began as a way to immerse myself in the only nature available to me during the strict lockdown in Melbourne – namely, the nature strips around my neighbourhood. In these little patches, plant life is allowed in delineated, controlled sites. Some are manicured and cultivated, and others overgrown and gone to weed, allowing the vegetation to take over a little sliver of the city. More and more feral or untamed corners become newly visible to me as I look for them on my daily one-hour walks.

While creating these images, I found that the act of physically getting into these green spaces also brings my attention to my own internalised social injunctions to behave in certain approved ways in specific public spaces. It lays bare my own inner restrictions that have been dictating to me what I can and can’t do in public, invisible til now. Immersion in nature strips has become a kind of rebellion during lockdown: a performative assertion of inner sovereignty, with an image to record its existence. Even a very small dose of nature is still medicine.