Carbon_Dating Project

CarbonDating Project

Over the coming summer months HOTA will be one of five Queensland sites for the Carbon_Dating Project, an experimental hybrid arts project that seeks to shift our relationship to Australia’s native grass and grasslands, which are under severe and often unacknowledged threat.  

Led by Brisbane based experimental artist Dr Keith Armstrong and lead collaborators donna davis, Daniele Constance, Tania Leimbach, Luke Lickfold and Andrea Higgins, as well as First Nations and scientific consultants, and site carers, the project comprises a series of outdoor installations using native Australian grasses.  

Running simultaneously at Gold Coast, Cairns, Somerset, Sunshine Coast and Miles, each site is cared for by a team of local artists, whilst responding to provocations designed to challenge their evolving relationship with the grass in their care. 

Drawing on Indigenous cultural, scientific and artistic understandings, the Carbon_Dating Project asks how we might see grass in a new, equitable and ecological way.  

“By sponsoring the planting of small indigenous grassland areas and gardens, we seek to foster living sites for our art experiments; as we build a campaign built on partnership, respect and care.”
Keith Armstrong, Project Lead 

The site at HOTA is located outside the Gallery Ground entrance and includes the native Australian grasses:

  • Kangaroo grass Themeda triandra
  • Barbed Wire grass Cymbopogon refractus
  • Scented Top grass Capillipedium spicigerum

For more information about the Carbon_Dating Project visit 

Image: Untitled [grass study 001], donna davis, 2021, digital media. Image courtesy of the artist.

With thanks to the City of Gold Coast Parks and Recreational Team for their enthusiastic assistance and support of the project at the HOTA Precinct.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government: and Cairns Regional Council; and Western Downs Regional Council; and City of Gold Coast Council; and Somerset Regional Council; and Sunshine Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Thanks also to QUT (School of Creative Practice, QUT Office of eResearch and Samford Ecological Research Facility). NorthSite Contemporary Arts, Cairns; Dogwood Crossing Gallery, Miles; HOTA, Gold Coast; The Condensery, Toogooloowah; Caloundra Regional Gallery, Caloundra; Native Seeds Pty Ltd and ReBul Packaging.

Personal Interweaver [detail view], CarbonDating Project, donna davis, 2022. Photo credit: donna davis

Personal Interweaver [detail view], Carbon_Dating Project, donna davis, 2022.
Photo credit: donna davis

Untitled [grass study 001], donna davis, 2021, digital media. Image courtesy of the artist.

Untitled [grass study 001], donna davis, 2021, digital media. Image
courtesy of the artist.


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HOTA proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.