Born 1969 in Murgon, Australia Lives and works in Northern Rivers, Australia and Berlin, Germany

“Alchemy Garden is a response to the climate crisis. It is an interactive community collaboration and garden developed at the National Art School – the site of the former Darlinghurst Gaol, which has a dense and layered history, dating from pre-invasion Indigenous land use to the present. ”

Andrew Rewald’s Alchemy Garden is an interactive, ever transforming, community-based garden project built from found objects from the National Art School site and inserted new objects. The garden is deeply imbedded in this location, created through reflecting on histories from pre-invasion Indigenous land use to cultivation during the era of the Darlinghurst Gaol and through to the present. The garden also considers interconnected pathways of human and plant migration and is a direct response to the climate crisis. The project asks us to reflect on what we can learn from the past to inform new sustainable practices into the future. The project uses ecological design practices such as repurposed building materials, a wicking bed drawing water from a reservoir, a vessel filled with a bioactive charcoal to filter wastewater, coir logs to control erosion and scalloped landscaping to direct water flow. Local community group the ‘Darlo Darlings’ are collaborating in the on-going maintenance of the garden, and Rewald will present a series of public workshops and food events with different partners throughout the Biennale. This evolving project highlights food-plant-people relationships and processes that provide alternative narratives around sustainable practices. A collaboration at the National Art School between Randy Lee Cutler and Andrew Rewald, Mineral Garden, is a speculative portal that takes the viewer through an alternative spacetime of hyper terrestriality. Glints and facets of these realms are revealed through the entanglement of collages, posters, mineral specimens and archival objects. A reading area supports the project with significant books that have inspired the collaboration. Mineral Garden hybridises botanical organisms in the soil and the geological forms beneath our feet to cultivate narrative pasts, alternative presents and possible futures. The installation speculates on the secret life of plants and minerals, revealing their hybridised potential for emergent worlds and lifeforms. Andrew Rewald is a transdisciplinary artist who works collaboratively with community groups, artists and professionals from other disciplines. Each project is necessarily long-term, depending on seasonality, agriculture, foraging and cookery to highlight plant-food-people relationships in cultural and environmental contexts, inviting audiences to participate and experience interconnections between food and ecology. Plants are the medium and subject matter for public workshops, performances, installation and mixed media work, connecting ecological awareness with everyday activities. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous assistance from Create NSW