Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Wild plants of Barbados illustrated on plantation ledgers – in pictures | Art and design


Artist Annalee Davis was walking in fields once used for sugarcane in her Barbados homeland when she spotted unfamiliar plants. “I was taught to see them as weeds but now I understand their value offering biodiversity to exhausted land and their historical use in bush medicine.” Davis started pressing and using specially mixed Victorian paint to draw these plants on old plantation ledger pages. Colonialism wiped out Barbados’s biodiversity in the 17th century by replacing local vegetation with the monoculture of intensively farmed fields of sugarcane, but wild plants are proliferating again. The series is now on show at Haarlem Artspace, Derbyshire, until 11 October as part of re:rural. “I want to use the plants to learn to listen to the land in another way and acknowledge its trauma,” she says.

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