Flora and the Baron

Be the first to favourite this. Royal Botanic Gardens, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne VIC, Australia

Walking piece details

Duration49 minutes

Baron Ferdinand von Mueller – eccentric outsider, global scientific powerhouse and the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria’s first director – has a tale to tell. Cut off from his beloved Gardens for the last twenty years of his life in self-imposed exile, his spirit re-enters the Gardens as your audio tour guide, delighting in the powerful beauty of the plants, revelling in his scientific legacy, and entertaining us with stories from his remarkable life. But he is also confronted by the environmental havoc produced from his own actions, like the introduction of blackberries, and the destruction of our native forests leaves him deeply saddened. Mueller challenges us to avoid the mistakes of the colonial scientific era, and to widen our gaze towards the future that we are in the process of creating. Use your smartphone and headphones to listen to this audio tour, which features Mueller’s prolific writing and also imagines his response to his considerable legacy.

Credits

Creators: Bowerbird Theatre (David Joseph & Karen Berger), https://www.bowerbirdtheatre.com/
Performers: Brian Lipson (Baron von Mueller), Karen Berger, David Joseph, Susan Bamford Caleo
Advisors: Dr Sara Maroske, Andrea James
Sound Engineer: Jem Savage, recorded at Wefo Studios

Sources:

‘Kuller Kullup’ is included with the permission of the author Bruce Pascoe. Originally commissioned by Red Room Poetry and Australian Poetry for New Shoots: Garden of Poems.
“On a General Introduction of Useful Plants into Victoria”, Lecture, 1857. Transactions of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria
“Trees & Drought – The Prevention or Mitigation of Droughts in Australia”, Article, 1866. The Journal of Botany, British & Foreign, Vol IV
“Forest Culture in its Relation to Industrial Pursuits”, Lecture, 22nd June 1871. Industrial and Technological Museum
“Select extra-tropical plants”, 1895. Government Printer, Melbourne
“Regardfully Yours: selected correspondence of Ferdinand von Mueller”, edited by RW Holme, AM Lucas, Sara Maroske, DM Sinkora & JH Voigt, Vols I, II & III
Hansard, 7th Victorian Parliament, Volume 14. 30 July – 14 August, 1872

Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111: II. Arietta
Clementi, Sonata in G Minor ‘Didone Abbandonata’ op. 50 no. 3. I Introduzione, II Adagio dolente
Bach, Book I Prelude and Fugue No 8 in E Flat Minor BWV 853, Prelude
Providence Brigade Band, Brass Band Music, mid 19th century, Coventry
Favourite Australian Birdsong, a natural soundscape, Andrew Skeoch & Sarah Kocshak (Redthroat & Pied Butcherbird), https://listeningearth.com/

Karen Berger

Australia

I'm a performance maker currently working with Susan Bamford Caleo & David Joseph to create our first sound walks.

Near Royal Botanic Gardens, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne VIC, Australia

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