The title for First Flowers refers to both the history of a specific plant, (magnolias originated over 65 million years ago and are one the few species of primitive flowers to grow continuously since,) and to the fact that they bloom so early in the spring, branches full of flowers before the trees leaf out. These wall mounted bronze and steel sculptures are like wallpaper come to life, growing out of the wall, recreating the barrier that actual tree branches create within the architecture of the gallery.
My current research is engaged with flowering plants, which I am modelling in wax and casting in bronze and using to create larger bodies of work. I am interested in the forms of the plants and flowers, their evolutionary histories, how they were used and how they continue to be used. I am also interested in plant habitat and the relationship between what is natural and what is altered or constructed. I use bronze for this work because of its long history as a sculptural material and its use in monuments for many centuries. The contrast of the metallic permanence of bronze with the temporality and fragility of the flora that is my current subject matter is of particular interest to me in this stage of my research. I am venturing into landscape sculpture, where the works themselves render landscape (a human construct) from elements drawn from the natural world. I am working to create sculptural landscape with an awareness of the history of Canadian landscape art refocused through a lens of feminism and what is associated with so-called women’s work.
First Flowers, 2014. Bronze & steel.
photos: Morrow Scot-Brown & Dan Froese.