Walls That Talk

As part of a series of eye catching installations, the current Walls That Talk exhibition features Botanical Beginnings

Botanical Beginnings

The current installation of Walls That Talk explores some of the flora endemic to the Maitland area prior to to European settlement. The flora is expressed through the commission of original illustrations from three botanical artists -  Renae Titchmarsh, Lauren Sahu-Khan and Tanya Hoolihan.

Read more about the artists

Austromyrtus Tenuifolia (Narrow Leaf Myrtle)
Austromyrtus tenuifolia, commonly knows as Narrow leaf Myrtle, is a straggling shrub, growing sometimes up to 3 metres but more often 50-150 cms high. In grows mainly in moist sheltered places in woodland, commonly along creek lines.

Illustrated by Lauren Sahu-Khan


Cissus Antarctica (Kangaroo Vine)

Cissus antarctica commonly known as Kangaroo vine, is a climbing plant, one of the best known species of the genus in the family of Vitaceae.
Kangaroo Vine is also a popular interior or house plant, well adapted even in subdued light.

Illustrated by Lauren Sahu-Khan

Brachychiton Acerifolius (Illawarra Flame Tree)

Brachychiton acerifolius, commonly known as the Illawarra Flame tree is a large tree of the family Malvaceae native to subtropical regions on the east coast of Australia. it is famous for the bright red bell shaped flowers that often cover the whole tree when it is leafless. Along with other members of the genus Brachychiton, it is commonly referred to as a Kurrajong.

Illustrated by Lauren Sahu-Kahn

Toona Cilliata (Red Cedar) 

Toona ciliata is a forest tree in the mahogany family which grows throughout south-east Asia and is commonly known as the red cedar. It has been extensively logged since European settlement; its timber used in cabinetry for its softness, texture and rich red colour. As one of Australia's native deciduous trees, the leaves fall in autumn and grow back in spring, the new leaf growth is reddish pink in colour.

Illustrated by Tanya Hoolihan

Ficus Rubiginosa (Port Jackson Fig)

Ficus rubiginosa, commonly known as the rusty fig or Port Jackson fog, is a species of flowering plant native to Eastern Australia in the genus Ficus. Beginning as a seedling that grows on other plants or rocks, it matures into a tree 30 metres high and nearly as wide with a yellow to brown buttressed trunk. It is exclusively pollinated by the fig wasp species Pleistodontes imperialis.

Illustrated by Tanya Hoolihan

Acmena Smithii (Lilly Pilly)

Syzygium smithii (formerly Acmena smithii) is a summer flowering, winter fruiting evergreen tree, belonging to the family Myrtaceae. It shares the common name Lilly Pilly with several other plants. nIt is planted as shrubs or hedgerows and features flushes of pink new growth and white to maroon edible berries. Unpruned, it will grow about three to five metres tall.

Illustrated by Tanya Hoolihan

Hibiscus Diversifolius (Swamp Hisbiscus)

Hibiscus diversifolius, otherwise known as the Swamp Hibiscus, is a widely occurring plant in tropical regions throughout the world. Its leaves vary in shape from semi-circular to tri-lobed depending on their stage of growth. Its roots, flowers and the young leaves are all edible. The fibre from the stems can be used as string and in weaving of mats and other items.

Illustrated by Renae Titchmarsh

Planchonella Australis (Black Apple)

The planchonella australis, or Black Apple, is a rainforest tree known for its quality timber and edible fruit. Harvested between February and July, the fruit is often sweet, like that of a plum, and has been a popular food source for Aboriginal Peoples living along Eastern Australia.

Illustrated by Renae Titchmarsh

Callitris Rhomboidea (Port Jackson Pine)

Unique only to Australia, the Port Jackson Pine, is a strong, durable timber. Its termite resisting properties has made it a popular choice for carpentry in buildings and street poles.The resin has been used by some Aboriginal Peoples as an adhesive glue for crafting spears, axes and other tools.

Illustrated by Renae Titchmarsh