Re-Rooted

2024
Indian Grass and Oil, 2024, 15"W x 22"H, ink on paper, Photo by Etienne Frossard

Plants have been on the earth much longer than we have. As the magnitude of environmental challenges that we face globally becomes more urgent, my drawings focus close attention on the quiet work that some plants do to repair toxins, in a process known as phytoremediation.  Plants absorb, reduce and clean up  contaminants in soil, water, or air, through their roots. Sunflower, mustard, vittata, poplar, indiangrass, and willow, among many others, are used to clean up nitrogen, phosphorus, radiation, lead, cadmium and many other pollutants.  From sunflowers at Chernobyl, to water lettuce at an oil spill, these plants are points of light in a  darkening sky. Other drawings focus on plants known as volunteers, who take root in unlikely environments, spontaneously thriving. From Rosehips at a thermonuclear site to wildflowers in train tracks, the volunteers are allegories of adaptability and resilience.  Other drawings focus on the plants used in the ancient process of making charcoal, currently used as a filter to remediate toxins in certain medical situations. My drawings encourage the viewer to reflect on this wondrous botanical alchemy, and offer hope to the re-routing of the environmental trajectory we are on.