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Open Access Wildflowering culture: Kathleen McArthur and creating a popular wildflower consciousness

Changing people’s hearts and minds requires courage, conviction and creativity. To change attitudes and reach the public consciousness, a diverse range of communicative and cultural tools need to be employed. Australian artist and conservationist Kathleen McArthur rose to the challenge using all the forms that were available to her. Working with others such as renowned poet Judith Wright, she sought to change the way Australians regarded our native plants and landscapes. Kathleen understood that to protect the precious environments that remained would require reaching out to ordinary Australians. Therefore, she utilized a suite of arts and communication forms, ranging from postcard campaigns to weekly newspaper columns, public talks, slide presentations, paintings, exhibitions and published books. Inspired by natural forms and utilizing cultural forms, McArthur was able to promote a form of ‘nature culture’ and public consciousness to protect and promote the nature that she loved.

Keywords: Environmental humanities; Kathleen McArthur; Popular culture; ecofeminism; environment; wildflowers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Central Queensland University

Publication date: March 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social and cultural meanings that are produced and circulated through everyday media and practices as products of consumption. It explores popular narratives and iconographies as intellectual objects of inquiry, and as integral components of the dynamic forces that shape societies and identities. The journal publishes articles that focus on Australasian examples, as well as broader critical and comparative topics viewed through a global lens.
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