7 October – 24 November, LAB-14 Gallery
Opening 7 October, 7PM

Featuring: Drew Berry, Dr Simon Cropper, Søren Dahlgaard, Leanne Hermosilla, Tamsen Hopkinson, Alice Potter, and Dr Tony Weatherley.

Curator: Dr Renee Beale

Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am-4pm, and Thursday 10am-6pm.
Special viewing: Wednesday 7 October, 7PM – 9PM (opening night), and by appointment.

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” – Wendell Berry.

Have we forgotten to consider the soil as living and breathing, as the source of our food and many life saving pharmaceuticals, a contributor to our physical and psychological wellbeing, an important store of carbon, and water purifier?

Dirty Secrets uncovers the hidden curiosities buried in soil. It encourages a deeper search for our connection to the land and its importance to our survival.

Ponder growing vegetables on a tropical island while sitting on your own private island.

Consider fertility in many of its guises through fruit and vegetable jewellery.

Encounter paintings of the land, from the land.

View soil monoliths and maps from 60 years ago.

Connect with the gallery garden.

Meet the microscopic critters living in soil.

The opening of Dirty Secrets follows our ThoughtLAB-14 event, Dead Dirt.

On opening night you can:

Sample some amazing earthy treats handmade by the Melbourne Uni Student Union Food Coop (there just may be some edible soil!!)

Participate in an illuminating experiment put together by Dr Simon Cropper from the School of Psychological Sciences that tests our perception of natural and unnatural textures.

Listen to a live music performance of composer Vincent Giles’ work based on the soil surrounding Carlton Connect and 50-year-old soil samples provided by Dr Tony Weatherley.

Dirty Secrets celebrates the International Year of Soil 2015.


Image courtesy of Alice Potter.

Drew Berry
Drew Berry is a biomedical animator who creates scientifically accurate and aesthetically rich visualisations.
Alice Potter
You’re More Than Just Fruit and Veg is a series of wearable works and wall pieces exploring the tangible size of the foetus in the womb.
Dr Simon Cropper
The brain is a slave to sense. How often do you see something in the clouds despite nothing being there.
Søren Dahlgaard
Initiating a vegetable farm on a small coral island in the Maldives, Søren has transformed the local economy and provided fresh grown food.
Tamsen Hopkinson
Tamsen’s practice explores the movement and connection between images through painting, with particular reference to landscape.
Leanne Hermosilla
Leanne utilises the contemporary alternative healing practice of “earthing” or “grounding” to consider our relationship to the land.
Dr Tony Weatherley
Dr Tony Weatherley has taught soil science and global sustainability at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.