Planting is Drawing

Immersion in the planted Suomi (Finnish) landscape of woodlands and dairy farms afforded time to consider planting as the act of drawing the land.

The land is drawn by agri and arboricultural practices that take precedence over biological requisite. At Arteles Creative Center, I began to explore the biocultural implications of this approach. Over generations, the peat-based soils of Suomi (meaning swamp) have been augmented to accommodate timber plantations via extensive land drainage. This practice has produced a viable economic output but the biodiversity of the entire region has suffered as a consequence.

An unusually mild start to the winter, afforded sufficient time in the short arctic day to work outside among the birch and pine trees. I set up an outdoor studio, making an easel from redundant timber. The Naive Evidence of Things (2011, 10x1.5m), seeks to convey the biological existence of the land through marks drawn with handmade lichen and bark inks. It was exhibited in a suspended spiral as a device to physically contain and confront the viewer within a 360-degree form.

 © 2020 by Laura Donkers

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