Eight Thousand Daughters Woven Into Bayou Braids Foster Gallery 2012
Louisiana’s bayous are captivating and majestically unique, abounding with biologically diverse ecosystems precariously enduring the challenging impacts of humans and invasive species of plants and animals. There are over four hundred bayous braided across the state. Over the course of one year I spent nearly every weekend investigating this aquatic landscape by canoe, deciphering the differences between native and invasive flora and fauna. I am interested in ways that art can address the natural world. The exhibition, Eight ThousandDaughters Woven into Bayou Braids, depicts and interprets the Louisiana landscape, exploring the destructive beauty and materiality of invasive aquatic plants. I am interested in the small gesture of removing portions of these plants and utilizing them as a material in my studio.
My approach to this body of work was multi faceted. First, I wanted to create a situation that mimicked my observations of the relationship between native and invasive flora in the swamp. Upon entering the gallery I place the viewer in an installation of plant forms simulating the alligator weed and water hyacinth. The abstract sculptures are a hybrid of both plants. The petal form references the hyacinth whereas the stalk composition is reminiscent of the Alligator Weed. Metaphorically these sculptures represent the role of the invasive plants on the ecology of the swamp, as they surrounding and encroaching upon the viewer, which represents the native flora. It was my goal that viewers left the exhibition with a curiosity about the complex role of invasive species, a desire to explore the unique landscape that surrounded us, or questioning the hierarchies that exist within the fragile ecology found in Louisiana's Bayous.
Images from Artist Book: Louisiana Landscapes &Invasive Ecologies