The work Remains is inspired by my fond recollections of foraging for the Persian Hogweed with my grandmother. During my residency at Grantham Foundation for Arts and Environment, I found the remains of a castrated Persian Hogweed with its flowers removed. To preserve its memory, I cast the plant in plaster. Given the height of the plant, it was cast in several sections from which she created a positive relief in a series of square, tile-like forms.
The fine details achieved in my plaster reliefs almost bring the plant back to life. Plaster relief, historically, is an ancient practice used to tell a story, most often a historic event or legend. Likewise, my reliefs tell a story but one with many gaps. Arranged to infer a sense of the whole plant, the spaces I leave between each section speak to the impossibility of reconciling the fragments of loss that entail the migratory experience. But strength and resilience can also grow from the knowledge gained from living ‘in between.’ Despite unfamiliar soil, climate and attempts at annihilation, this delicate work is proof that the Persian Hogweed has survived.