Reviewed by: The AU Review
Review by John Goodridge | 06 March 2023

One of the more unusual Fringe events this year is the Celestial Gardens: The Secret Sounds of Plants. Set in the Adelaide Botanical Garden Bicentennial Conservatory, plants are wired with bio-sensors to create sounds. Visitors are invited to stroke and interact with the plants to create music.

The whole conservatory is lit up and artworks adorn the gardens and hang from trees. Nymphs skip around as the visitors gradually become aware of their ability to communicate with the plants. The air becomes filled with ambient sounds. The feeling is that of being immersed in a natural soundscape.

The large scale interactive installation is the brain child of Sacred Resonance. The idea is to give the audience a feeling of forest bathing, mindfulness and interactive sound.

Jessica Curtis is the artist whose works are dotted through the space. They are colourful, playful and add an element of discovery to the wandering viewer.

There are other pieces to discover, such as 3D virtual reality tablets, which are whimsical and playful as well.

After weaving through the conservatory, a musician playing various forms of steel drums was a mediative and interesting way to complete the journey. The outdoor area could have done with some fire pits to warm the body as well as the soul, but was pleasant enough.

Overall it was a unique experience of the rainforest and would be interesting as a permanent part of the conservatory. Lovers of nature would really find this a fantastic experience.