Bringing together artists working across media including beadwork, embroidery, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and hydroponics, The Botanical Turn examines how botanical imagery has been used to explore issues of agency, identity, gender, empowerment, and colonization. In recent years, there has been a proliferation in the use of botanical imagery in contemporary art to explore complex ideas and to articulate embodied knowledge. Given the current focus on human/non-human relationships as we consider our impact on the natural world, it is unsurprising that the examination of the role of plants within human systems of meaning is increasingly extending beyond the scientific and ecological to encompass the socio-cultural and metaphysical. As Donna Haraway reminds us, no species acts alone. “We have a mammalian job to do, with our biotic and abiotic sympoeitic collaborators, colaborers … Who and whatever we are, we need to make-with—become with, compose-with—the earth-bound.” Each of the artists in this exhibition considers interspecies relationships between humans and plants through various perspectives, be they concerned with the making of kin, self-determination, or critique of use-value.
The Botanical Turn exhibition is open by appointment from September 23 to December 11, 2021, at McIntosh Gallery. https://mcintoshgallery.ca/
The Botanical Turn Panel Discussion featured Carrie Allison, Paul Chartrand, Joscelyn Gardner, Zachari Logan, Sarah Maloney, and Amanda White. Moderated by Dr. Helen Gregory. Co-presented by McIntosh Gallery & the Art Now! Speakers' Series.