While completing an artist residency in the lush protected landscape of the Toronto islands I was surprised to find a bunch of artificial plants on the premises. I culled this stash of dusty ever-lasting plastic greenery into the studio. Looking at this heap of imitation made me think about what inhabits the memories of what is called “bucolic” and “nature”. I considered what it means today to be faced with the ever-changed contemporary landscape which has been heavily urbanized. What does it means to be human in the face of these changes in the environment?
I explored the sculptural potential of co-joining the synthetic plants with my body, and created personas that alluded to 17th century allegorical landscape painting, the fragile equilibrium of perhaps a Daphne, or yet another deity enmeshed in manufactured foliage and homey objects such as bright and cheerful bowls, plastic fruits, and synthetic fabrics.
Covered in mock greenery, I thought about nature domesticated, the beliefs surrounding its pictorial picturesqueness, reminiscent somehow of fauns and deities, forlorn lovers and dollar store romantics.
My photo-performative leafy human personas display teetering poses that evoke an out-of-control body or efforts to control the body entrapped in a fake nature. Ill-organized, unclassifiable, and without defined form, they are tools through which I create moments of absurdity that speak to questions of human’s place in the natural world and consider the physical and psychic consequences of this disconnection in our existence.