BG Graphic

1–2 minute experience, or the time it takes to water a houseplant.


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    Can you name three native plants?


    Issue 4


    With our first issue, Mapping the Horizon, we asked artists to look forward, upwards, and outwards into an imagined future. With this issue, we changed our perspective to look down, around, and in. Curious about how artists and makers can guide us to be thoughtful about our surroundings, we asked, “How do artists help us re-envision our relationship to land and nature?” After all, the work of artmaking relies on ecosystems of materials and community knowledge that have their origins in specific places and movements. 


    Issue 4 is an inquiry into place, a sort of field recording, guided by artists working in diverse mediums and approaches. They examine relationships and trouble the binaries between humans and their environment, taking into account the histories of movement and displacement that brought them to where they are now, into new communities of flora and fauna. They recognize that the ground beneath our feet has witnessed extraction of goods, cultivation of industrial crops, displacement of humans and other organisms, and the reinforcement of borders through Western cultural imperialism. But there is also beauty, calm, and bounty we can call upon in moments of strife, and knowledge of nature that allows us to sculpt better environments for human life.

    We found that looking around naturally leads to inward contemplation, bringing themes of identity and community to the foreground, and when ruminating on the specificity of a place, evocative relationships emerge. The story of the land is not just outside, but reflects internal realities: what’s inside and outside are mutually reinforcing. Issue 4, Unearthing Common Ground, represents an ongoing inquiry into the ways people and the land need one another, and how their unique histories must be taken into account for mutual healing.

    In symbiosis,

    Kate Blair and Jessica Ferrer


    A note on the art direction in this issue:
    The imagery for this issue is the silhouette of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), a plant native to North America. The warm tones, which shift from gold to amber to marigold, come from the turmeric dye used in the anthotype process. Once the treated paper is exposed to the sun, the dye creates an imprint of the plant’s outline, revealing its leaves, thin stems, and rhizome through the exposure of the developing bath.

    BG Graphic