Herb Path, Mother Earth

Finland- Rauma: Seminary Garden

2015

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.

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Communication Through Herbs, 2012.

SC Gallery-Zagreb

October 2012.

Nature, the countryside and everything built around a certain locality is its surrounding. When I moved away from the tall buildings and skyscrapers to the east side of the city, where family houses dominated, I have found myself in completely new surroundings. After a while I wanted to conceive my own way of communication with the new ambience and the people living in it. I’ve noticed that in front of every front door there is a small well-decorated garden. Motivated by it, I’ve started to plant herbs and flowers on my balcony. I have raised the pots from the ground and wrapped them into colorful fabrics so that people passing by could easily notice them. When the seeds started to grow I have also started writing interesting pieces of information about the plants in chalk on the street. For example: “Coriander has sprouted. Tea from its seeds has medicinal properties. I am still waiting for rosemary, thyme and basil to shoot up.” Children were the first to notice my activity on the street, some of them joining me, drawing in colored chalk further down the street. The highlight of the action was when the plants had grown enough for me to replant them in the new pots, leaving them in front of every neighbors door.