My environmental art project for Rauma Artist-in-Residence programme involves planting aromatic herbs in Seminar Garden and a plant installation placed on the trees in the town’s main street . I have marked a route from downtown to the Seminar Garden by hanging cloth bags with medicinal plants growing in them on the trees. On the bags I have written some of my recipes like TEA AGAINST EXPLOITATION : ”Mix equal amounts of dried dandelion root, calendula flower and leaf of hyssop. Use as tea: 1 full teaspoon per 1 cup, and drink 2-3 unsweetened cups a day in small sips. Dandelion root cleanses the liver, gallbladder, kidneys and lymph. First of all dandelion root cleanses the liver and gallbladder and stimulates the kidneys so the toxins are sent out of the body.” I meet pupils at school and they can design their own plant for a certain new purpose to make their life better.
One of the things that influences my artistic work are the problems that more and more young people are experiencing. I am trying to offer a solution to some of the major symptoms of depression such as weakness, apathy, lack of incentives, self-doubt, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, meaninglessness, lack of energy etc. through planting healthy herbs.
With my project I am researching the ways how community art: planting and positioning art work in a public space, can engage people by offering them a herbal approach into life.
The main idea of my project was to plant a garden of healthy and edible herbs. Herbs are planted in the Seminar Garden in a shape of my silhouette, a young woman, which I call ”Mother Earth”. A garden is a living thing, a place which is marked and sometimes abandoned. Within the process of planting and exchanging the knowledge of medicinal and edible herbs with young and older people, I want to encourage public discussion and articulation of the current problems of the people (in the community). Do we still collect, grow and use plants for medical purposes?
Art gardening is a tool which can be used in a wider sense for waking up people in creating a widespread resistance of unnecessary consumption, in relaxation and returning people into the peacefulness of nature.
Special thanks to Raumars Artist in Residency Program for their support and help with my project.