Self Portrait with Emily Dickinson,
Transplanted-where are you from
Cedar Ridge Gallery and Creative Centre, Scarborough Ont.
Photography, text on stainless steel, artists books and poetry reading
Growing up in Ireland I was surrounded by all sorts of wonderful trees and plants that I took for granted, and Monkey Puzzle Trees not great climbing trees, but as a child the name intrigued me. Palm Trees, azaleas, roses, rhododendrons, daffodils and many more. As a young adult, I loved gardens and never wondered where did these wondrous plants come from. I have a childhood memory of tying up the daffodils when their season was over, one of my early household jobs.
My mother was the gardener, winter roses, daffodils, tulips, wallflowers, roses, lupins, snapdragons, one could go on and on. But like the majority of flowers in Canadian gardens, they did not originate in Ireland, but were transplanted from far away places via the botanists and plant hunters from Europe.
When I started my “hunt” for the history and origin of plants some 25 years ago, I discovered Emily Dickinson’s herbarium, and I stayed to read her poetry. While studying at Mount Holyoke in her late teens, Emily Dickinson began to study the flowers in her garden and the surrounding area with the scientific intensity of a seasoned botanist.
But my interest did not stop there. Emily Dickinson’s herbarium, opened up a pandora box of ideas. It became a lens for me to reconsider to reimagine the function of art-making. A step back, to look at the world around me.
Self Portrait with Emily Dickinson is the start of the journey.
All 1800 ED poems printed on stainless steel.