LINEAGE OF PRACTICE post no.1
A recent instagram post by my pal Marika inspired my to share some of the experiences & influences that have led me to this work & I’m gonna break it up into a few posts to keep things fresh
My lineage of practice is rooted in a deep curiosity cultivated through my work as a visual artist & a love of cities & their weeds that flourished while I was an art student in Montreal and Boston. In those years some of my most influential teachers were Cynthia Hammond, Johanne Sloan, Mary Sui Yee Wong, Barbara Todd, Danica Jojich, Wendy Jacob, Christine Walley & Gediminas Urbonas. They encouraged me to centre practice, to trust my gut & to question my assumptions, and I would not be the health-care provider I am today without this foundation in studio art.
TL/DR: Early on, my obsession with weeds (i.e. abundant hardy plants whose expertise is surviving in tough conditions) led me to make art with plants. My often unruly projects incorporated my own learning as I fumbled my way through new skills like transplanting, starting seeds, building a herb spiral, maintaining a garden, making bitters &c.
During this time I struggled w chronic yeast infections and later BV & under the tutelage of my then-herbalist, Sarah Hunter, I learned how to make the tinctures & teas that would help me to find relief and move into my own healing. I eventually created a workshop on DIY herbal gynecology called Plants in Your Pants.
Every so often I attended an herbal conference or intensive in that left me yearning for immersion in the world of plant medicine. Encouraged by my friend I went to the RadHerb gathering in Rhode Island (in 2007??) & my lil mind was totally blown by the way that presenters brought an anti-o approach to their work as herbalists. This was my first exposure to class analysis & critiques of cultural appropriation as they pertain to herbalism. It was a pivotal moment for me as I started to see how expansive herbalism can be.
Image: still from my project In the Fall We Plant Bulbs (2007)