Seeing Plants 2020

Seeing Plants: Reversing the Politicising of Plants as a Decolonialist Strategy 2020

“Seeing Plants I”


Porcelain and wood frame

180cm x 110cm


“Seeing  Plants II”


Porcelain and wood artefacts

50cmH x 32cmW

40cmH x 25.5cmW

30cmH x 19cmW

“Seeing Plants III”


Porcelain and wood triptych

90cmH x 130cmW


The purpose of this installation is to decolonise and reclaim the power of nature as a response to British imperialist expansion. The past human relationship with the landscape has been contentious and often used as a political battleground to exert power and influence over people, land and nature through the cultural legacies of colonialism. To expand from standardised ways of thinking and making work in this context, this installation investigates the decolonisation and politicising of plants through the material thinking and handling of clay and collage.

It researches, explores and examines how fine art practice might approach and foreground the decolonisation and politicising of nature, analysing and responding to address the exploitation of land using colour, the power of multiples, scale, movement and joy, as nature seeks to reclaim the imperialist landscape. It seeks to convey an artistic style of expression that uses complex forms, bold ornamentation and the juxtaposition of contrasting elements often conveying a sense of drama, movement and tension.

The wider implications of this installation reveals a shift to an ecocentric perspective of abundance, attempting to redress the imbalance created by anthropocentrism, and allow nature to be seen as a dynamic subject rather than a passive object in art. This investigation is significant as it attempts to link the past and the present, in terms of establishing and conveying how colonialism was a system of devastating inequalities with deeply rooted legacies evident in contemporary culture.

This project highlights the subjugation of nature as a consequence of British imperialist expansion and reverses the politicising of plants as symbolic tools of oppression. This installation contributes to the ongoing discussion within this critical field of study and the associated practice of art framing this topic.

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