Tenacity of Hope (2021)
Our growing and increasingly interconnected global society seems fraught with the tensions of political, economic and environmental despair mixed with feelings of apathy and frustration. And yet today, with our technological tools we have even more means to express ourselves, seek out common ground, come to terms with our past and shape our collective vision for the future.
Where do we find hope? Does it come from looking forward, dreaming of the future and progress? Or does it come from acknowledging those motivated to help, share, and from feelings of gratefulness? Or is hope generated by realizing that we could actually fail?
Through artistic research, I am engaging with the idea of hope by looking at the natural world – mainly house plants. Today there are 1.4 million posts on Instagram with #houseplants pointing to the inspiration and therapeutic care that our house plants offer. A revived trend from the 1970s and a move towards domesticating office, retail and social spaces, we’ve greened our interior spaces. And yet they mask their supreme commodification and dislocation from their native habitat – offering a sense of a less complicated relationship with the global economy and colonial histories. Houseplants are the embodiment of the Anthropocene; They are evidence of a human affected planet. What systems are layered with our plants and why do they continue to inspire hope?