a battlefield medicinal herb living green under the snow
uv plant light, vinyl lettering, wood plinths, potted yarrow plants
Installation for 'Locating Self-Care in Urban Centres', curated by Emma Steen at Collision Gallery, Toronto, ON
A Battlefield Medicinal Herb Living Green Under the Snow is an installation in which sourced yarrow plants sit in custom-printed pots and in conversation with photographs and text. The result is a poetic map to a space of self-care. This work examines the complexities of care and conviviality for Indigenous women in the face of ongoing genocide and the relationship of those complexities to space.
I read a story in Wendy Geniusz’ Keewaydinoquay: Anishinaabe-
mashkikiikwe and Ethnobotanist, about Keewaydinoquay being sent to find yarrow in the winter in order to heal a child. She was skeptical but followed the dried tops of the yarrow and dug underneath the snow. There she found the yarrow in “greenhouse-like conditions” with new green shoots growing (Geniusz, 2005). Yarrow is also known as Achillea millefolium. It is named after Achilles who carried the plant into battlefields in order to treat the wounded and in fact, it’s use for healing in battle is supported by its other names such as soldier’s woundwort and herba militaris.