Attributed a Field studies (working title) is my current body of work is a reimagining photographically the history of botanical drawings done by women in the Victorian era. These women struggle to make work at the time women were not able to paint on site because of social pressure and they were thought to be too frail to travel so they had no access to exotics. In response many of these women’s subject were taken from their gardens or in the countryside they knew well. They would even plant and nurture foliage seasonal so they could paint. In their life time their work was overlooked or attributed to their male peers.
My work honors this history and the women before me as I collect specimens on Toronto Island I am also interested in the idea of preserving and cataloguing in my case the photographic document and how material is interpreted.
I am beginning to develop categories that parallel how specimens are labeled and stored in Herbariums and other plant collections. Rather than science these categories appear arbitrary or based on the gather’s interests and access to material. I am collecting on the Toronto Island this is a constructed environment that including formal gardens, fields, wetlands, and forest all manicured for the park user. It is all so unique landscape because of the community that has been there for over 100 years with most of the house been removal in the 50s. These old gardens are part of the landscape making many layers of plant life that include domestic and wild plants as old gardens return every year. This history is implied as I forge for my material. 24 x 15" printed on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta Satin.