Seed The Change by Sally McKay

© Sally McKay. Seed Banks.
© Sally McKay. Seed Banks.

Exploring environmental and ecological rights, Sydney-based photographic artist and visual activist, Sally McKay’s latest exhibition, Seed The Change, is her third solo exhibition at .M Contemporary, Sydney.

From her research on genetically modified seeds, transnational organisations’ patenting of agriculture, diminishing seed biodiversity, and the possibility of a resultant ecological catastrophe, McKay showcases highly sophisticated and immersive imagery that encapsulates her concerns for the future of seeds.

Seed the Change places the Moreton Bay Chestnut, a native seed found in few places within Australia and the Pacific, including McKay’s home suburb in NSW, at the centre of her exploration. Fastidiously arranging over 3,000 collected seeds into intricate designs, she documents each instalment with exquisite mastery over light and colour. McKay engenders the function of aesthetics as a way of masking the commentary pertaining to the devastating consequences facing humanity as a result of seed extinction.

© Sally McKay. Seed Sharing.
© Sally McKay. Seed Sharing.

Presented en masse, the Moreton Bay Chestnut seeds signify the thousands of seed types and accompanying local knowledge lost to extinction over the past 100 years. McKay’s connection to her locale, through seed, becomes paramount when considering how plant life has shaped and guided humanity over millennia, and in questioning how the current industrialisation of agriculture will shape the future of humanity. 

McKays’ photographs invite audiences to relish in the incredibility of colour and detail, akin to the magnificence of the natural landscape. While her installation, orchestration, and control evoke greater inquiry into the ramifications of environmental manipulation by the hands of humanity.

© Sally McKay. Seed Extinction.
© Sally McKay. Seed Extinction.

About the artist

Sally McKay.
Sally McKay.

Sally McKay lives and works in Sydney and is represented by .M Contemporary. After two successful exhibitions at .M Contemporary, alongside showings at Sydney Contemporary 2018 and 2019, McKay was invited to exhibit in the core artistic program at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2019, Australia’s leading contemporary photographic biennale. Trained in photography, McKay harnessed her management of light and detail while working for 10 years as a commercial portrait photographer. Seed The Change is McKay’s third exhibition at .M Contemporary, Sydney, and continues her on-going research into environmental and ecological rights, and how her advocacy can transpire through photography.

© Sally McKay. Seed Survival.
© Sally McKay. Seed Survival.
© Sally McKay. Seed Pods.
© Sally McKay. Seed Pods.
© Sally McKay. Seed Biodiversity.
© Sally McKay. Seed Biodiversity.

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September

Civilization: The Way We Live Now is an international exhibition featuring 200-plus original photographs by over 100 contemporary photographers from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

The first major survey exhibition of celebrated Australian photographer Petrina Hicks, it includes more than forty photograph and video works spanning the period 2003 to 2019.

October

A new exhibition now open at the Australian National Maritime Museum reveals some of iconic moments of World War II as captured by renowned photographer, Dorothea Lange.

November

'Array' is the final ‘cycle’ in award-winning Australian artist, Murray Fredericks’ 16-year 'SALT' project.

December

Nurturing the careers of young women in photography, Sam I Am’s mentorship program, Chapter One, presents the work of its eight protégé photographers at a special exhibition.