Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group
Graduate Research School
Graduate Research School, Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications
This paper argues for the application of ethnographic practice, specifically participant observation and semi-structured interviewing, in the development of a corporeal aesthetics of flora. The study is characterized as an ethnography of botanists and, building upon emerging work in cultural ecology and human–plant geographies, is situated within the proposed context of cultural botany. During the Southwest Australian spring wildflower season between August and October of 2009 I conducted interviews with professional and amateur botanists, as well wildflower enthusiasts and tourists, at two places of remarkable floristic diversity: the Lesueur-Eneabba region and the Fitzgerald River National Park. Interview transcripts suggest the possibility of a corporeal aesthetics as a postcolonial countermeasure to the predominantly visual, scientific construction of the aesthetic value of wild flora.