Updated: Jan 26
MARCH 19, 2017
In the spring of 2016, I broke my wrist falling down a couple of flights of stairs. I was distraught by the length of time I was unable to crochet since this had become my primary means of making art. Fortunately, I was invited to be a visiting artist at Chashama North, a much-needed distraction and an activity I was capable of doing. While at the residency I was asked to return as a resident artist. I agreed, thinking surely by then my wrist would be better and I'd be able to resume crocheting, perhaps using local plants. In late August I still had severe nerve pain and was struggling to control it. A fellow resident invited an artist-friend to visit who was working with herbs. She conducted a ceremony with an herb that was growing in a ring around the residency and I became curious. My research revealed that this herb was a nervine, an herb that helps control nerve pain. The coincidence sent me into research overdrive. The residency and local farm had every herb imaginable growing on its premises so I spent my time collecting, making infused oils, taking photos, and making video. I became interested in the traditions of herbalism and how it related to my past as an RN. I knew already that healers were once primarily women and decided to reclaim that knowledge and power. I needed a more responsible method for obtaining information than the internet, so I contacted a local herbalist, applied, and was accepted as an apprentice. The use of herbs in my sculptures, healing ceremonies, performance, and photography are now included in my approach to art-making. My studio at chaNorth where I collected, dried and then processed herbs into infused oils.