Plants that perform for you'? From floral aesthetics to floraesthesis in the Southwest of Western Australia

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




Ryan, J. C. ‘Plants That Perform For You’? From Floral Aesthetics to Floraesthesis in the Southwest of Western Australia. Australian Humanities Review, 47. 1. Available here


Writings on landscape tend to express engrained human attitudes towards plants. The theme ‘thinking about writing for the anthropocene’ suggests that, for us to explore new models of writing landscape that give agency to plants, we need first to explore the philosophical underpinnings of our varied relationships to flora. This need is especially evident in the branch of ecological philosophy known as ‘landscape’ or ‘environmental aesthetics’. The flowering plant has been represented textually and visually with vocabularies inherited from the appreciation of artistic objects. In the Southwest of Australia, plants have been objectified, dismissed or aestheticised in representation, depending on their adherence to traditional ideas of beauty. A more enlivened writing about plants emerges from new conceptualisations of the human perception of flora. The act of writing itself becomes a form of enquiry into the human-plant relationship.

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