In 1996, my interests as a passionate gardener and photo-based artist, that both dated from the 1970s, collided when I made the connection that plants are actually a form of photography; (photography from the Greek - meaning light drawing). Both photography and plants use the magical, mysterious ingredient that is LIGHT and the essential force that drives life on the planet.

In fact, the largest photosensitive emulsion we know of is the planet earth. I draw inspiration and endless fascination from the awareness that the earth rotates in space and orbits the sun at a precise distance for the sun's radiation to affect the elegant process of photosynthesis through the myriad of plants that have evolved and grow on the planet. The earth is a three dimensional living photograph. The atmosphere and biosphere are also key factors that mediate the harshness of radiation bombarding the earth and nurture life on the planet that we know and depend upon. The process is an amazing thing and something we should revere and protect. Imagine the earth as a basket ball, wrapped in the thinnest paper you could find. The thickness of this delicate paper is equivalent to the atmosphere, and the depth of the paper's texture is thicker than the tallest trees, even thicker than the tallest high rise buildings!

Image sequences from NASSA shows how vegetation grows, dies back, changes colour with the seasons, how the “photographic image” that is our planet alters. Increasingly human intervention plays a larger role in transforming the image of the globe we inhabit. Imagine foliated land as a photo-sensor (like in a digital camera) that responds to light speeding past the planet. Plants continually use this energy source to perform a complex series of functions that mediate the climate and atmosphere in a positive manner for thousands of species, including humans.

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Author notes


MFA : Ecological artist is one of a new breed of environmental artists whose work is directly influencing ‘green' building design. … Godman's installations are the result of a unique blend of botanical science, environmental awareness and artistic expression. All three elements are intrinsic to the practical realisation of his polymathic vision.” 001161448188899


Editor of Facility Management Magazine Aug. 2011


Structural Engineer BE(Civil & Computing), FIEAust, CPEng, NPER. Stuart Jones has recently been appointed Technical Director for Hyder Consulting in Melbourne. Previous to this he was the Owner/Director of Point 5 Consulting in Melbourne for 14 years. Stuart has over 25 years professional experience in all phases of project delivery and specialises in creative structural design with extensive experience in Australia and throughout Asia.


Environmental Scientist and Arboricultural Consultant. Grant Harris is the principle of Ironbark Environmental Arboriculture, with over 12 years experience in the arboricultural sector he also holds a degree in Environmental Science (Wildlife and Conservation Biology). His particular areas of interest are the use of green infrastructure to mitigate urban heat island effects and urban ecology.