This page (and additional content in the tabs) details the experiences/artwork outcomes of our carer in Yuggara/Ugarapul Country (2022-23)

Interwoven, donna davis, 2024

Video Installation: 3 channel video, TV screens, digital prints onto recycled stretch micro-fibre fabric, foam, sound. Sound design by Luke Lickfold.

Interwoven responds to the idea of exchanging breath with our interspecies kin; extending the concept of the experimental ‘Interweaver’ by entangling human and non-human respiration processes on a microscale.

Here the viewer is transported to a hidden realm inside both plant and human to reveal an intimate glimpse into our shared biological process of gas exchange; with a series of videos depicting stomata[1] and alveoli[2] movement. These creative animations are interspersed with grassland imagery simultaneously placing the viewer within macro and micro worlds.

A series of floor cushions, reminiscent of the Interweaver’s ‘Grass Cards’ sit beneath the videos inviting the viewer to sit, relax and contemplate our interspecies relationship with grass. A soundtrack, created in response to the video sequence, plays softly in the background to invite deep meditative reflection.

The work encourages the viewer to consider their own role within the carbon cycle reflecting on the idea of gas exchange between living organisms; we all share an intimate connection with our multispecies kin - our shared breath is inextricably interwoven in our very being.

The grass animations were created with reference to scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of stomata from the leaf surface of native grass species grown in my own grass garden. I harvested, pressed, vouchered[3] and imaged the native grasses involved during my residency with the Queensland Herbarium and Biodiversity Science (QHBS). Special thanks to Dr Melinda Laidlaw and Dr Melody Fabillo, QHBS, Department of Environment, Science and Innovation for hosting me during my residency.

[1] Stomata: Microscopic openings or pores in the epidermis of leaves and young stems. Stomata are generally more numerous on the underside of leaves. They provide for the exchange of gases between the outside air and the branched system of interconnecting air canals within the leaf.  Source: Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "bract". Encyclopedia Britannica, 29 Nov. 2016. Accessed 28 January 2024.

[2] Alveolus: tiny air sac in the lung…the site of gas exchange of respiratory gases (Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen). Source: Oxford Reference, Retrieved 28 Jan. 2024.

[3] Voucher Specimens are pressed and mounted; collected to support a research project or a particular activity, for example they may represent new weed incursions, seed collections, ecological research, DNA sequences or biochemical analysis.  Source:

Interwoven, (concept image), donna davis, 2023, sound design Luke Lickfold (Image donna davis)
The Interweaver, Donna Davis, 2022
During the first stage of Carbon_Dating (2022-3) each participant-carer was given a unique ‘Interweaver’ device/sculpture, designed by artist donna davis, which connected them to the project's shared 'Grassland Community of Care'. The ‘Interweaver’ is a wi-fi enabled sculpture/device that each carer kept in their home or workplace. About the size of a small electric appliance, this aesthetic object had a range of functions: including sculptural object, audio-visual display, a holder for grass reflection and provocation cards, and a seed store. The Interweaver was designed to become a part of the participants' daily lives and attended to once per day. Its miniature kaleidoscopic video screen displayed daily 24-hour time-lapse images of the grasses from this site at Samford. The accompanying soundscape, heard on headphones, was created using a custom audio composition program designed by project artist Luke Lickfold, with each unique composition controlled by real time weather data streamed from this Samford site. Together the projects' participants spent three months with their grasses, plus the Inteweaver and some prompt cards. This was designed to focus them around caring for and 'being with' their grasses – experiences which in turn informed their creative responses for the 2024-5 touring exhibition.

- Timber, glass, grass seed, mobile phone, streamed video/audio from Samford Carbon_Dating site, mirrors, acrylic, headphones, magnifying glass
400mm x 400 x 300mm 

Interweaver (Personal Version), donna davis, 2023, (Image donna davis)
Interweaver (detail), donna davis, 2023, (Photo donna davis)
Interweaver (Personal Version) installed at Merinda Davies' studio, Surfers Paradise, donna davis, 2023, (Photo Keith Armstrong)
Interweaver (Personal Version) installed at Miles carer site, donna davis, 2023, (Photo Hilary Coulter)
Grass cards, Daniele Constance, 2022. Provocations for the 'grassland community of care’ development process, card images by donna davis, writing by Somerset carer Pipier Weller (Photo Pipier Weller)

Carbon_Dating Grass Mound, Donna Davis, 2022
Inspired by experiments in grass planting and growth, donna davis designed a flat packable garden bed structure - which was then cut using a CNC process in cardboard. When assembled and filled with earth, it would ultimately grow into the iconic mounds that characterised each of the Carbon_Dating sites. This kit is available to other sites interested in growing their own grass mound.

- CNC cut cardboard, eco-weed mat, recycled edging (optional) soil, mulch native seedlings and seeds
1.5m x 1.5m x 0.3mm 

Our Sunshine Coast Carers adding earth to Donna's cardboard mound design, 2022, (Image Keith Armstrong)
Carbon_Dating grass mound, Donna Davis, 2022, (Image courtesy of HOTA, Home of the Arts, Gold Coast. Photo by Camille Nicholls)

Our Yuggara/Ugarapul site and Carbon Dating artist and carer donna davis

Our project carer in Ipswich was Carbon_Dating lead artist donna davis (See her biography in the Bio tab above). Donna was the first to experiment with growing cycles of native grasses, was the designer of the Interweavers which were sent to the project sites at Miles, Cairns, Sunshine Coats and Gold Coast. Donna also pioneered the idea and form of the Carbon Dating grass garden - and her own prototype plot was located at her residence in Ipswich, Qld.

donna planted Kangaroo Grass, Silky Blue, Barbed Wire, Black Spear, Top Scented and Curly Mitchell - endemic grasses well suited to their local Country/bioregion.
Original grass garden planting, 2020 (Image donna davis)
First seed planting, 2020 (Photo donna davis)
First seed planting, 2020 (Photo donna davis)
donna's seed raising pots, 2022 (Photo Keith Armstrong)
grass seed collection and categorisation (Photo Donna Davis, 2020)
donna davis, silky blue grass study (Image donna davis)
Scented top grass study (Image Donna Davis)
Native grass study, donna davis, 2021 (Image donna davis)
Native grass study, donna davis, 2021 (Image donna davis)

donna davis, carbon_dating grass garden setup instructional video (Video Keith Armstrong)

donna davis

Donna Davis is a multi-disciplinary artist who examines human and non-human relationships with respect to ecological health. Exploring the intersections between art and science she is often embedded within ecological research projects. Using sculpture, digital media and installation her work tells stories that examine the science through a creative lens; exploring imagined futures and constructing new ways of ‘seeing’ complex natural systems and our role within them.

Davis has undertaken a number of residencies, including: Queensland State Archives, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Science and is currently artist in resident on projects with Australian Tropical Herbarium and University of Miami. Davis holds a Bachelor of Arts (ART) from Curtin University and has works held in both public and private collections. She has exhibited widely in both solo and selected group exhibitions; and had her work feature in state and national touring exhibitions. Connect with donna via her website, Instagram and Twitter (X) feeds.