the leaves breathe – coded messages
Corrie’s #2 project called Leaves Breathe – coded messages- silent DNA is a Tree Line lead artist imitative for a group of artist with the name catchment collective. Catchment Collective are a number of Sunshine Coast artists that work in the environment creating site specific art. www.catchmentcollective09.blogspot.com The group includes artists; Elizabeth Poole, Mayrah Dreise, Jan Dunlop, Wendy McGrath, Richard Newport & Corrie Wright.
The catchment collective group will be working in the Maroochydore Botanical gardens from 22 – 28th May 2010, finishing on World Environment Day for the TreeLine opening event.
Tree Line is a people art science nature project conducted by the Sunshine Regional Gallery and Sunshine Coast Council. Tree Line program is dedicated to highlighting the significance of trees on the sunshine Coast. Both of Corrie’ projects can be viewed at www.leavesbreathe.blogspot.com
Leaves breathe –coded messages
Junk (or non-coding) DNA is the term used to describe parts of DNA strands (genome) that have no known or apparent function. The genome of any living thing is made up of a sequence of base chemical pairs. In humans, the genome is around 3 billion base pairs long; in conifer trees around 21 billion base pairs and in gum trees around 600 million base pairs in length. Around 5-20% (depending on the organism) of the genome can be grouped into genes – i.e. groups of base pairs which are responsible for how organisms look and function – but the remainder has no known use or function. It is carefully carried from one generation to the next over millions of years but we have no idea what its role or function is. Scientists think that this “junk” DNA may have some error checking function for transcription of DNA into amino acids and proteins or that they may carry some other kinds of coded “messages” for the future
Junk (or non-coding) DNA or pseudogenes seems to be all about function or in this case the lack of function (purpose). This non–function is widely researched and scientists continue to debate the function of non-function. Although many now believe non-coding DNA sequences has a structural role in chromosomes and that pseudogenes contain fascinating biological and evolutionary histories within their sequences.
Leaves Breathe – coded messages- silent DNA
In the first catchment project I posed questions regarding morphology – the comparison of structures, which progressively links into the non-coding DNA concept by asking about the connections between function and non function. (An ironic comparison with the art debate)
In this case the morphology is the structure of anything made up of interconnected or interdependent parts.
Common sense suggests that anything that is completely useless would be discarded yet the silent DNA remains connected strongly to others. But what really goes on inside?
The ‘significant’ tree for TreeLine that I have chosen for my work in the Botanical Gardens is the Eucalyptus trees in particular a ‘forked’ Eucalyptus tree. A number of reasons (apart for the obvious) for this are the associations with connected pairs including the ‘fork’, the leaves (most Eucalyptus trees form in pairs on opposite sides of a square stem), the bark and trunk. The work in progress over the week will include sculptures made from ‘discarded’ materials from our world of junk. These ‘pod-cell’ like forms will create a site specific installation.
Trees you could say are the super heroes of the urban environments. There is lots of science data to support this but who reads it? How do you represent what this coded DNA memory might be?
Under the theme of ‘tree as super hero’ students are asked to create a visual story board that considers one of the trees memories;
Visual narrative of what you think one of the trees memories might be
Please consider your drawings from the superhero prospective to open up a variety of styles that could be considered in your drawings.
The style and medium used can be discussed with your art teacher and is to support the curriculum topic of Past Time (memories, recounts, narratives etc)
You are only limited by your imagination
Please visit www.leavesbreathe.blogspot.com.for links to research sites.
Pacific Lutheran College Year 11 art students