Wild plants are not only part of our landscape, they are integral to our culture and history. Plantlife’s unique project celebrates our fascination with wild plants in the form of a patchwork exhibition, bringing together contributions from people across the country. Individuals and groups have been invited to contribute squares 15x15cm, and the variety of subjects and techniques is astounding. There is plenty of patchwork and embroidery, but also knitting, cross-stitch, painting, crochet, weaving and probably more techniques that I have missed out. The subject are just as varied, taking inspiration from art and literature; myth, history and folklore; clans and war, and also very personal memories, people and places.
Seona Anderson from Plantlife explains the aims of the project:
“From the Bayeux Tapestry, through to William Morris, from Celia Birtwell to Grayson Perry, Britain has a tradition of celebrating diversity in textile design that we want to tap into. We want to celebrate this love of wild plants by asking the nation to help us create a patchwork of artwork and stories from across the range of Britain’s natural and cultural diversity.”
One of the patches that keeps catching my eye as I walk past each day is this warrior with his spear shaft made of ash (below). The wood has been used for centuries because it is strong and flexible, but of course the future of our ash trees is now in question due to the spread of ash dieback. It is perhaps because this has been another area of my focus over the past year that my eye naturally falls upon this great warrior.
We were delighted to welcome Plantlife and some of the talented people who have contributed to the project last Friday at the John Hope Gateway. It was fantastic to hear about how the project is developing, as it is part of a larger Wildlife Europe Project (find out more on their website here).
The exhibition closes at the end John Hope Gateway at the end of tomorrow (Thursday 26 September) however you can still contribute squares, and the exhibition will be touring to further venues – find out more at the website.