A young woman looking at a large screen of a digital tree artwork in an dark exhibition space
Sanctuary of the Unseen Forest, Marshmallow Laser Feast: Works of Nature, Photo by Eugene Hyland

ACMI presents

Reconnecting to Nature


This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


Thu 4 Apr 2024

Join us for a discussion exploring the limitless possibilities that emerge when we deepen our connection to the natural world.

The awe-inspiring exhibition Marshmallow Laser Feast: Works of Nature uses creative technology to expand our understanding of the world around us. Hear from former Royal Botanic Gardens CEO Tim Entwisle, Darug archaeologist Maddison Miller, City of Melbourne's Urban Forest and Ecology Manager Kelly Hertzog and writer Sophie Cunningham as they consider our city's particular relationship to its natural ecosystem.

What is possible when we more deeply care for country, and what’s at stake when we forget? How do the trees in our immediate urban ecosystem change our everyday experiences? Our panel will also explore how artists have always been inspired by the natural world and have used technology to respond to the sublime.

Take nature home with you

After the talk head into the foyer to roll your own seed bomb to plant in your garden. Seed bombs are a fun way of increasing biodiversity in your backyard. Carefully parceled in a clay ball, your choice of seeds will attract either birds or insect pollinators. A set-and-forget planting method, the clay of your seed bomb will naturally disintegrate, and your seeds will germinate into wildlife-attracting plants to help your backyard ecosystem thrive.

Visit Marshmallow Laser Feast: Works of Nature before attending the talk by purchasing a talk and exhibition ticket. A limited number of talk and exhibition tickets are available and do not include admission to Evolver VR.

Event duration

60 mins

Tickets – talk only

Full $12
Under 35 $10
Concession $7
Student $7
ACMI Member $7
Under 16 $3.5
Blak Membership FREE

Get tickets

Talk + Exhibition tickets

Full $25
Under 35 $20
Concession $20
Student $20
ACMI Member $20
Under 16 $15
Child under 4 FREE
Blak Membership FREE

Get tickets


Cinema 2, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

Plan your visit


Sophie Cunningham - Photo by Alana Holmberg
Photo by Alana Holmberg

Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham is a non-fiction writer and novelist with a passion for trees, walking and broader environmental issues. She is currently the 2023-24 Miegunyah Creative Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

A Member of the Order of Australia for her contributions to literature, Sophie is the Chair of the Australian Society of Authors and a non- executive director of the Copyright Agency. She was a co-founder of The Stella Prize, former editor of Meanjin (2008–11) and former chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts (2011–14). She has written for a range of magazines, including Griffith Review and The Monthly. The author of nine books, Sophie is also a teacher, mentor, climate change activist, wildlife advocate and every day she posts an image of a tree on her Instagram @sophtreeofday

Tim Entwhistle (photo Simon Schluter)
Photo by Simon Schluter

Tim Entwisle

Professor Tim Entwisle is an author, botanist and former botanic gardens director. He is currently Chair of the Harbour Trust in Sydney, and Chair of the Public Open Space Expert Panel for the Suburban Rail Loop project in Melbourne. Tim headed up Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria for ten years, following two years in a senior role at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London, and eight as head of Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in Sydney. Tim is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at The University of Melbourne with a broad interest in algae, plants and public gardens. He is a regular contributor to Australian radio, print and social media, and recently published a memoir, Evergreen: the Botanical Life of a Plant Punk.

Maddison Miller - Phoebe Powell
Photo by Phoebe Powell

Maddison Miller

Maddison Miller is a Darug woman living and working on unceded Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Wilam Biik. She is an archaeologist, artist, writer and is currently a lecturer at The University of Melbourne. Maddi’s research focuses on storytelling as a mechanism for bringing together multiple ways of knowing.

(closeup) Kelly Hertzog

Kelly Hertzog

Kelly leads the Urban Forest and Ecology team at the City of Melbourne. The team is responsible for delivery of the Urban Forest Strategy and Nature in the City Strategy, working to double tree canopy cover, cool the city and create thriving urban ecosystems. With a background in Social Science, Kelly is passionate about fostering connections between people and nature.

MLF - young woman interacting with multicoloured digital screen

Marshmallow Laser Feast: Works of Nature

Exhibition | 23 Nov 2023 – 14 Apr 2024

From the breath of trees to the cells inside our bodies and galaxies above, everything is connected.

Works from Nature soundscapes

Soundscapes from Works of Nature

Recorded by MLF, this audio collection features musings by Dr Stephan Harding, Professor Katie J Field, Dr David Abram and Dr Merlin Sheldrake on nature, life and the more-than-human world. We've recut their recordings into four thematic meditative soundscapes, featuring all of the scientists in dialogue on four fascinating subjects: death, breath, collectivity and care.

MLF - young man interacting with blue digital screen

How Works of Nature was made

From conception to opening, the process of putting together this awe-inspiring exhibition involved close collaboration between the creative folks at Marshmallow Laser Feast and the highly skilled crew at ACMI.

MLF - Ersin Han Ersin in front of multicoloured digital screen

A 2-minute meditation

Close your eyes. Breathe. Relax. Ersin Han Ersin (artist and director, Marshmallow Laser Feast) guides you through a simple meditation exercise.

A young man and woman standing back to back in front of a digital artwork that is projecting specks of light onto them.

Why do we love immersive experiences?

From standing in front of a majestic Sequoia tree to being inside St Paul’s Cathedral to being in the circles of Stongehenge, humans love to be immersed in experiences – but why?


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