A Botanical Donation from Level 67

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A couple of weeks ago we noticed something strange(r than usual) happening at 100 Story Building. The trapdoor that leads to the 99 levels below was sprouting! At first it was a tiny sliver, but in a matter of days uncontrollable limbs of flora started spewing out of every available crevice. Our trap door was struggling. We needed help.

We asked Jess Wilson and Matt Hobson, experts in rare and undiscovered botanical wonders (they also moonlight as artists) to work alongside a team of young researchers from our 100 Stories Down school holiday workshop to help us study and manage the strange succulent.

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Their findings traced the roots of this alien plant down to Level 67, but we remained unsure of its purpose. Was this an evil succulent sent to overrun and destroy Footscray as we know it? Had it come to warn us of impending doom? Had it simply lost its way?  We tried asking the plant, which lead to another important discovery: this was not a talking plant.

Jess and Matt, being the fearless researchers/botanists/artists they are, decided destroying the plant was not an option. It was too important, and there was still so much to learn. Instead, they took clippings from the botanical beast and, with the help of some grade 3/4 students from St Peters Sunshine West, began propagating a new plant in the direct sunlight of our front window.

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First, they placed clippings taken from the succulent in a beaker, and observed its growth. The plant rapidly expanded, growing furiously in its new habitat. Onlookers from the street marveled at its swift development. The most curious discovery was made at night, when a group of art lovers on an Art Crawl reported the vines spilling onto the street and strange creatures scurrying through the leaves. Yet, by daylight, the creeper had crept back to its shop window home and all was quiet again.

The strange plant can be seen in the 100 Story Building windows throughout June, as we continue to observe and record its behaviour. Night expeditions are also being held for those interested in experiencing the succulent in its nocturnal glory. You can book a spot on a night-time Art Crawl, as a part of the West Projection Festival here.

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This report was prepared for 100 Story Building by intrepid volunteer Julia Wallace. Thanks Jules!
In the Window installations are supported by an Australia Post Our Neighbourhood Community Grant.