The bond between people and plants is as old as humanity itself. It is a tempestuous union, sometimes symbiotic but more often driven by production and need. As the human population has grown, so has our reliance on the spaces the flora occupies, that sustains the biosphere and us.
As observers we catalogue and classify, creating sets and subsets to interpret the world around us.
The relationship between humanity and the plants world can be perceived in terms of three basic scales of interaction; the wild and untamed places, the tamed and colonized spaces and the bits in-between.
My work explores the wild untamed plant species which often find life on the in-between bits. Plants struggling or thriving in the abandoned, un-valued or uncared for places; the sidings and verges, fringes and backlots. Gardens of chance, of coincidence. Self cultivation places that somehow have their own intent, gardens of unrecognized beauty and value.
Plants arrived in these places in the back pocket of the traveller or passing bird, and from the specimens of the journeying collector, only to later become ‘a problem’– their beauty and value soon forgotten or maligned without the organizing, validating space of common use or value.
How should our relationship with these plants continue? Can we truly know what value they might have in the future?
To preserve these peripheral plant lives as collections, is to re-attribute value and give place and prominence to the most enduring, useful and overlooked of plant species – the ‘weed’.