Beware the clay creatures lurking in Gagebrook bushland

A REVOLUNTIONARY clay seeding project that creates native seed-infused temporary clay art is regenerating understorey in Tasmania’s bushland.

The ‘Clay Generate’ project saw 270 school children team up with environmental partners and New South Wales-based ceramic artist and director of Eco Arts Australis Andrew Parker in mid-October.

All the schools who took part have been involved in Mona’s 24 Carrot Garden program.

Mr Parker said the Clay Generate project saw the students mix native seed with clay to build creatures that were then let loose on a bush regeneration site in Gagebrook.

“From there the creatures will weather in the rain, the seeds will germinate, and before too long hundreds of native seedlings will be sprouting and growing,” he said.

Landcare Tasmania chief executive officer Rod Knight said Clay Generate was a great “conservation meets art” project.

“It involves Eco Arts Australis, Landcare Tasmania and Mona’s 24 Carrot Garden school groups coming together to contribute towards a great educational project,” he said.

“It is getting children’s minds buzzing with stories exploring the how and why of bushland restoration.”

The students engaged in the project mixed fun with meaningful learning experiences from the arts all the way through to ecology.

Students were provided with hands-on tuition in ceramic arts by moulding clay with their hands while thinking about what the bushland may look like in future.

The unfired seed-infused clay art creatures will be placed on display within bushland revegetation sites to slowly decompose and deposit the precious seeds.

Students, the local care group and Landcare Tasmania volunteers will be involved in ongoing monitoring of the revegetation site.

The data gathered will be a learning experience with real world outcomes and will be used to guide further experimental trials of the innovative and creative technique.

Caption: Garden specialist Rick Gavin, pictured top left, and Herdsman’s Cove Primary School’s Logan Thorne, bottom right, show off their clay creations. Photo credit: MONA 24 Carrot Garden.