Kew Gardens 2021. Photo by Shiraz Bayjoo.

Date:  Tuesday, 14 December 2021
Location:  Delfina Foundation
Time:  18:00 – doors open
18:30 – introduction by artist Shiraz Bayjoo
followed by an in-conversation with Mark Nesbit of Kew
Tickets:  Free. Booking essential.
Access information:  Please refer to this page

Get an insight into the research and resulting work-in-progress of artist Shiraz Bayjoo, exploring botanical histories and forms of de-colonial imaginaries.

Join us to hear a conversation between Delfina Foundation UK associate artist Shiraz Bayjoo and Mark Nesbitt, Senior Research Leader at Kew Gardens Economic Botany Collection, alongside an installation of Shiraz’s research materials and early footage from his forthcoming film work – in collaboration with dancer Nicolas Faubert.

During his residency as part of Delfina Foundation’s Collecting as Practice programme, Shiraz has been conducting research in the collections at Kew Gardens, with a specific interest in Mauritius. Through his conversation with Mark and a presentation of documents, photos and excerpts from a forthcoming film work, Shiraz will unpack his research in the Economic Botany collection – a collection of ‘useful plants’ whose origins lie in the project of British Imperialism and its resource exploitation – where he has been probing the juncture of Kew’s historical legacy and it’s contemporary conservation activities; such as the case of the Dombeya Mauritiana.


Due to the ongoing pandemic we request all guests take a lateral flow test before attending and we require face masks to be worn throughout the event when inside. Drinks will be served in the courtyard.

Collecting as Practice

This event is part of the public programme of Delfina Foundation’s Collecting as Practice autumn season 2021.


Shiraz Bayjoo (Delfina Foundation UK associate) in his practice explores the socio-political and historical conditions integral to Mauritian cultural identity and the wider Indian Ocean region. He works with vernacular histories, critical texts, public collections and archives, culminating in a multidisciplinary practice. Shiraz’s works consider the language of race, decolonisation, and the entangled legacies of European colonialism.

Mark Nesbitt is a Senior Research Leader at Kew Gardens, where he curates the Economic Botany Collection – including managing acquisitions, conservation, loans, sampling and hosting of researchers. His research portfolio includes plant fibres (barkcloth, textiles, basketry), medicinal plants and the history of useful plants and botanical institutions in the last 200 years. He teaches in postgraduate courses at University of Glasgow, Royal Holloway, Birkbeck College,University of the Arts London, Royal College of Art, Institute of Archaeology, and University College London.

With UK associate artist Shiraz Bayjoo