Seeds of Change

Hello, my name is Clare Newton. I am photographic artist and use my work to bring nature closer to people. I believe that a true to life image with a wider perspective, allows the viewer to experience precise aspects of nature, that’s all around us. Sometimes the subjects have an invisible beauty which people may not see themselves. But if I can attract people to the subject and attempt to encourage them to take notice, then maybe they might take better care about nature’s preservation. 

I became fascinated with seeds when I came across a piece of research about the vortex of air. It occurs when a dandelion seed is airborne and helps it to stay up for longer, giving it greater probability for successful seed dispersal. I tracked down the university and asked to visit their labs and see some of their work. The University of Edinburgh agreed to my first visit. 

The project that germinated is called Seeds of Change and it is to be delivered as a photographic narrative with video and audio sketches. The idea for the exhibition is it tells alternative stories about seeds. Something that is out of the ordinary, which the public may not have considered.  Along the lines of how seeds have inspired scientists to invent futuristic technologies, researchers to alter seed genetics, and look in the opposite direction at our pat and how it can preserve a future.

The reason for Seeds of Change exhibition is to engage public interest for museums, botanical gardens and science centres, to help raise awareness about the importance and wide world of seeds.  

Some of the Topics covered so far include: 

  • Science inspired by seeds: cyber seeds to grow bridges, power-less flight, etc. I’d love to discover more…
  • Heritage Seeds – my first discovery of a seed bank, but now l realise that this will become a critical resource to protect generations of hybridisations that have had their resistances bred out.
  • Experiencing the diversity of hybridisation in Sweet Peas.
  • Introductions to seed research laboratories – how mother nature protects her broods with diversity but genetic control is reducing diversity.
  • Research into shattering – the uniformed release of seeds appropriate for harvesting

I would really love to get help from members,  I have been awarded a bursary from the RHS to visit gardens and other plant centres to capture some of the stories, research and techniques. I am interested in:

  • More diverse topics connected to seeds  – I’m open to any suggestions
  • I am very interested in the conservation of native species and their seeds – how can they be protected from cross-pollination, sprays etc.
  • Do seeds have resistance to pests and diseases?
  • Seeds for decorative flowers in the British garden.

I’m also interested in finding venues for an outdoor/indoor exhibition and sponsors to help bring the project to the public and generate awareness. If you can help, please get in touch with me via PlantNetwork!