Jul 12, 2018

Backyard Botanicals

Annually our Elora Centre for the Arts hosts an exhibition with a theme that is open to anyone.  This year the theme was "Backyard Botanicals" and each participant was given a wooden box, about 24 inches by 10 inches by 2 inches deep.   I am thrilled to say that I heard about this opportunity very early on and got my act together in time to take part and create something that really came out of Nature and my creativity.    

Here are the guidelines:

It all started with the box, which was a lot bigger than I thought it would be:  

Of course it needed a good hanger:

and the beginnings of an idea:

I had collected little objects all Winter and Spring (well, I'm forever picking up little stones and twigs and bits) and they were on trays drying and being bug-cleansed by spending time in the freezer.  Then, all of a sudden, a collection of bits looked like the strange creature in the image above.  What is it?  Who knows!  But it definitely had life.  With a few pieces of quilled foliage and a lovely dried branch, the idea was definitely taking shape.


It was a BIG space to fill but I was determined to only have natural objects.  Long curls of quilled paper made excellent grasses.

And even the background was only paper (cardstock, flocked (maybe there's a bit of plastic there, oops) and textured "copper") and a section of a tree trunk found in our front flower bed, probably Maple.

And underneath, the critters!  All wood and flattened pine cones, the two beasts are very real and raw.

The quilled pieces were all constructed one by one, some looking like specific plants while others were just fanciful...

...to create this lush and green wonderland.

To complete the piece, the long outside edges of the box were lined with bark.  

In the end, my offering is completely made of dead things:  the box is part of a dead tree, the creatures are made of dead bits of trees and the papers are dead plant and tree fibers.  And yet, and yet, it's a celebration of life.  

It's "Through Her Eyes", Mother Nature's eyes.  It's her Frankenstein Project, creating life from the dead. 

And the piece was delivered July 10!  I'm really looking forward to the opening reception July 12 to see what everyone else created!  

Thank you Elora Center for the Arts for the opportunity to focus on a project and get it done!  And for the chance to share it!  

Hope you can get to the Center in person and see the remarkable works!

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