I've always hand my hands in the dirt. Gardening, making, growing, digging, flower-gazing, hiking, exploring - the soil has been the nexus of my curiosity. It's illuminated connections between earth processes, plant diversity, and craft. It's shaped my path both as a botanist and as an artist. Most recently, as I work in landscapes impacted by lithium mines and resource extraction endeavors, the connection between substrate and biodiversity are irrefutable. I strongly believe that the capitalist facade of green energy development poses one of the greatest threats biodiversity, and green-washing endeavors have led people to believe extinction is a reasonable side-effect in the name of capitalist growth and current rates of consumption. I strongly advocate for a more creatively imagined multi-species future that prioritized sustainable materials, less extraction, fewer environmental and social harms, and focuses around degrowth and conservation.
As a botanist and as a human on this planet, I am motivated by equitable and socially-just biological conservation. I'm fascinated by the incredible diversity of plants, and I hope to honor the ways humans have interacted with and understood plants over the millennia, and address the ways contemporary humans cause environmental harm through disconnect. I aim to tread lightly over the lands where I am a guest. Protecting plant diversity is critical, as it is the ecological and cultural keystone for all life. We move through the landscape as it moves through us. Conservation informed by science, traditional ecological knowledge, and anti-capitalist principles is where our best chances for a multi-species future lies. Botany, although colonial in nature and rooted in problematic beginnings, is an important tool for navigating and mitigating the human impact within the natural world. Traditional botanical and ecological knowledge can both be integrated back into contemporary society and honored for the ways it is already interwoven, grounding and stabilizing us. Keeping both traditional and scientific knowledge accessible, intersectional, and digestible is imperative for our mental and environmental health in this era of rapid environmental change. Connecting with plants and nature is critical in reconstructing resilience. Without understanding the complexities that our burning, melting, shifting, collapsing, growing world holds, how can we know what we stand to lose?
Geology and earth’s surface processes also heavily influence my ceramic work. I work to replicate the feeling and mystery of the places I hold dear, as this type of creative practice floods me with feelings of inspiration and awe. It is this energy I can return to in times of overwhelm. As I deepen my wild pigment, ash glaze, and wild clay practices and explorations, I feel these clay portraits to be more true to the places I hope to represent while reducing the environmental impacts present with commercially available materials. This process helps me to process and bear witness to environmental change. Through this exploration, I aim to connect people to the awe and wonder of natural places while providing vessels for solace, grief, connection, and care during an era of environmental collapse.
I hold great value in the teaching and continual studying of ecology, botany, creative practices, and wilderness-based self-care as a form of environmental conservation. This practice of resilience is rooted in the love of the natural world, especially plants. The connection with nature and mental health are reciprocal of one another and is in desperate need of accessibility and intersectionality. As someone with a non-linear path, I hope to provide tools and solidarity to others walking non-traditional paths to find resilience and solace in nature, as well as inspiration in conservation research and creative practices. Through collective empowerment, we can fight apathy and disenchantment.