Sarah Staton: In situ ex situ (2007)
The work is conceived in response to a planting project which began in 1990 in conjunction with Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. The initial planting at Mount Stuart was the first in a group of a hundred British sites and involves the propagation, planting and maintenance of threatened species as part of the International Conifer Conservation Programme (ICCP). Thirteen specific geographic areas of planting are mapped out in the grounds: Afro Alpine, Bhutan, Chile, China, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Patagonia, Peru, Sikkim, Tasmania and Western North America.
Appropriating the language of conservation terminology, the exhibition is named 'In situ ex situ'. The artist has re-used everyday pine furniture as material for sculpture. Between the majestic growing conifer and the abjectness of pine furniture, something has been lost and Staton's sculptures hope to recover some of that loss.
Five species of the conserved conifers that are growing at Mount Stuart have been drawn freehand on the Visitor Centre wall, as has a map of the conservation planting that took place in the early 1990s.
For the book accompanying this exhibition Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain from 2010-2015, wrote an essay which you can read here.