We have an ongoing fascination with the exotic that has manifested in garden practices throughout history.
Chosen for their exotic beauty, non-native plants regularly escape the confines of the garden. These exotics often thrive and ultimately take over, becoming invasive, choking out native forest plants and undermining natural ecosystems. The result is a globalized landscape that means an inexorable death for native species.
Any system is interconnected; small changes have huge impact. Within the system that connects humans to nature, gardens become the vehicle for the destruction of balance. While non-native plants provide a unique beauty and offer us the opportunity to explore other cultures through botanical species, the natural controls that would normally keep them in check are missing. The result is an imbalance in the delicate equilibrium of our ecosystems.
My current work addresses the issue of native versus invasive botanical species in the Appalachian region using a variety of media including printmaking, painting, drawing and installation. Relying on the visual language of seduction, I create work where viewers are confronted by their own attraction to the beauty of an ultimately destructive organism. Using pattern, repetition, and layered color I seduce the viewer, luring them into a garden of exotics.