grasslands > Silence is an Open Field

‘Silence is an open field’ engages with concepts of active silence and unheard plant-based language. This installation combines drawings of plant historical gestures with research notes, poetry, and plant olfactory language.

Plants use airborne chemical and olfactory signals to communicate with themselves and others. These plant-based conversations surround us at all times and are brought into the gallery through the active presence of drylands grasses in this piece.

The jasmine scent included in the installation represents jasmonic acid, a chemical signal that when perceived by plants acts as a catalyst for response and defense against herbivore attacks. This scent-based text speaks to active listening, response, and growth.

The grasses in the piece are engaged in active regrowth, after being abandoned by the artist in the beginning stages of the COVID-19 quarantine. As they respond to tending and attention, they demonstrate a process of resilience despite challenging circumstances.