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Trevor Gould

GouldThe examination of notions such as territories, origins as well as natural versus cultural spaces has been at the heart of Gould's research for the past twenty years. The point of departure of the work for Leaf Thief is the Botanical Garden, more precisely the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, as this site is the centre to a geographical arrangement of imperial space. Under Sir Joseph Banks, Kew’s plant collector, it played a major role in developing natural resources of Britain’s expanding empire. These collecting trips co-ordinated science and exploration, colonial trade with expository practice. Clearly, while plant specimens are living material of nature, their transplant, hybridisation and subsequent exhibition in Botanical Garden conservatories transforms them into cultural bodies. Furthermore, the plants evolution through time and their passage through space checks them off as characters constructed out of and from within social and ethno-botanical narratives. Like art, the status of a botanical garden collection is both visual and discursive to which our meanings and interpretations are attached.


Trevor Gould was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1951. He studied at the Johannesburg College of Art and at the University of South Africa, and immigrated to Canada in 1980. Gould's work can be interpreted as an exploration of the way images and objects represent the beliefs, attitudes, and values in our social history. A prime concern for Gould is the interior mapping that guides and mediates our actions and our sense of presence in the world. His work thus addresses issues of our awareness and understanding of cultural space. He currently lives and works in Montreal, where he teaches sculpture at Concordia University.


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