Meg Viney

A collection of works and musings from an artist.


This article was written on 24 Jul 2022, and is filled under Artworks.

Seeds: Time Capsules of Life

My work is about containment.This time, however, seeds. The original intention had been to create small sculptures of seeds.

However, walking around parks and gardens, squatting on my haunches, examining tiny plants,  amazed at their exquisite forms, I realised that to copy Nature is not only foolish, but nigh on impossible. 

I began musing about the concept of ‘essence’ encountered during studies of Japanese Art – (the Japanese believe that all materials have ‘essence’, which it is the artists’ task to deliver, almost reverentially, into being).

And then I considered  the notion of ‘ephemera’ – things that exist for a short time only.  Whilst this is true of seeds as they fall to the ground, in fact they transmute into compost, a forest bed, nutrients for the occasional seed that germinates to become a living entity.

This dichotomy  absorbed my attention.   ‘Essence’, a spiritual entity, a property or characteristic.  ‘Ephemeral’, transitory.  Can they exist harmoniously each referencing the other?  

Reading the story of Antony Gormley sculptural Project at Lake Ballard, I noted a parallel:

’The work of Gormley changes the way we think about representation.  He has shifted away from making images of things and moves toward generating experiences of their presence.  These experiences may or may not involve images of the things themselves and may simply provide us with a trace or residue of the thing…….they may have provided us with a conceptual platform for the idea of a material that creates its own presence.’ 1

So I had shifted from the original intention, to now wanting to reflect the essence or the experience of looking at seeds with their extraordinary forms and their capacity to disperse in the most ingenious of ways. 

Whist reading ’The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck, these words resonated:

The concrete highway was edged with a mat of tangled, broken, dry grass, and the grass heads were heavy with oat beards to catch on a dog’s coat, and foxtails to tangle in a horse’s fetlocks, and clover burrs to fasten in sheep’s wool; still life waiting to be dispersed, every seed armed with an appliance of dispersal, twisting darts and parachutes for the wind, little spears and balls with tiny thorns, all waiting for animals and the wind, for a man’s trouser cuff or the hem of a woman’s skirt, all passive but armed with appliances of activity, still, but each possessed of the anlage of movement’.  2

Here is the body of work that emanated from working with concepts and materials that evoke the essence, the ephemeral qualities and the experience of seeds.

1.  Antony Gormley: Inside Australia Pub 2005, Thames and Hudson.  Ch 6 – Anthony Boyd.  

2. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck.


  1. David Jones
    July 29, 2022

    From an unfortunately short first viewing, I am enthralled by the ‘conectivity with life’ which (to me as an uneducated observer). Objects and elements reach out to me and to the world beyond them.
    Simply amazing

    • megv
      March 4, 2024

      Thanks David, Meg

  2. Ian Gust
    August 15, 2022

    Meg, these are splendid but its hard to judge their size from the photos. Are any for sale?

    • megv
      March 3, 2024

      Hi Ian
      Just found your comment. Apologies. Yea they are for sale. Sizes are about 180 mm cubed in Perspex boxes for protection. $350 each

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