After Maxine

My current work is an interpretive investigation of interwoven themes related to family history and plant ecology within a specific area. I utilize my great-grandmother’s 1959 Master’s Thesis in botany as a catalyst for creating images that explore the grey areas between science and art, thereby connecting conceptually to the constructed memory I have of my great-grandmother, who I know through stories and photographs. A visual dialogue with wild, unkempt pieces of land versus paved or manicured spaces in the urban and suburban landscape intrigues me. Plant life tends to overtake unnatural environments and objects over time, if left alone to grow and thrive. This interplay of schism and fusion symbolically represents the relationship between my great-grandmother’s generation and my own.

 

Photographs in the series display the flowering plants and their interaction with an increasingly urbanized environment. Other images examine man-made forms within the landscape as another kind of specimen, aesthetically connecting the artificial and the botanical form. I use semiotics of both art and science when creating, engaging with the taxonomic and the nostalgic, the systematic and the sentimental. The series explores my relationship to a particular environment both logically and emotionally, as my great-grandmother felt connected more than fifty years ago. With the insertion of collected family photographs, written accounts, and objects into the body of work, I explore the symbolic and ideological ambiguity mentioned through the creation of a narrative pseudo-history.