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

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

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Central Queensland University

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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  • The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social practices and the cultural meanings that are produced and are circulated through the processes and practices of everyday life. As a product of consumption, an intellectual object of inquiry, and as an integral component of the dynamic forces that shape societies. The journal will be receptive to articles which focus on Australasian examples, or broader comparative and theoretical questions viewed through an Australasian lens.
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