Soil, trees and chromatograms art + science workshop in the Central West

Visit the Central West of NSW to learn about soil and tree health through the artistic adaptation of the laboratory technique of chromatograms.

The Cowra Orange Cabonne Science Hub based at the Corridor Project at Wyangala in Central West NSW has announced the next event in their Science Hub program for 2023.

On Sunday 17 September join an all-day program of talks, field-walks and chromatogram making looking at soil and tree health in the area, using the chromatogram process as a tool for scientific exploration and artist expression.

Dr Jordan Bailey, Leader of Plant Pathology Curation, Biosecurity Collections at the local Orange Department of Primary Industries office, will talk about fungi and their role in plant and soil health, as decomposers, antagonists, and symbionts, and how humans are harnessing their powers to heal our ecosystems and reduce our carbon footprint.

Artist Sammy Hawker will then lead the group on a field study collecting samples from fallen leaves, soil, shred bark, or fungus from a tree on the property. The collected sample will be used to create a chromatogram, adapting the laboratory technique used to separate a mixture into its components, most often used in chemistry.  For Sammy, using the technique of chromatography facilitates the visual expression of vibrant matter, and the result can be understood as a self-portrait of the tree


Optional meals and overnight accommodation in the Shearers Quarters on the property are available. Please book these when you book into the workshop.

Or you can stay locally and drive in for the full day workshop. The property is 23 minutes from Cowra, or 1.5 hours from Orange and Bathurst.

The chromatograms created on the day will be exhibited for National Science Week 2024 as part of the CORRIDOR project ERTHWRX event in August 2024. 

Image credit: Sammy Hawker processed image from TCP Chromatogram community workshop 2022.22/23

PROGRAM 2023/4

The program for the Cowra Orange Cabonne Science Hub involves artists, scientists, cultural experts and community. They have regular weekends of workshops to January 2024. If the weekends have a separate but content related program for Saturday and for Sunday, you can choose one workshop, or stay overnight for two workshops.

Current program. View the program page for regular updates.

Saturday 5 November
Future Landscapes. Presentation on Bio-energy enabling circular economic models in regional centres
VR + AI. Digital drawing with Matt O’Brien, Racheal Peachy and Paul Mosig

Saturday 2 December
Pressing Matters Plant. Pathology and fungi presentation/talk with Dr Jordan Bailey and specimen press making and botanical illustration workshops tutored by Heather Vallance
Sunday 3 December
Wild Clay. Workshop, including hand building and environmental pressing, tutored by Rebecca Dowling

January 2024
Architectural interventions. A two-day workshop of presentation and demonstration. Local community will learn how to construct a DOME dwelling with Cave Urban from locally sourced bamboo, utilising engineering, design thinking, architecture and built environment knowledge and techniques