Body, Geography & the Plants that Heal

Margaret Porter-Daniel


October – November, 2013

My art practice is about plants, the medicine they provide, how plants restored my health, the building of community with and through plants and the building of self-reliance. The direction of the installation and workshops is to establish connection, a bonding with the Earth, which is referred to as biophilia and to open the door to biognosis, which is the “direct depth knowledge of nature that cannot be reduced to the assembly of a collection of bits of accumulated knowledge.”(p 62, The Lost Language of Plants, Buhner) What better way to do this then through the wisdom of plants?  The maps and artwork are assembled from found papers, donated and discarded supplies.  All the materials in this exhibit are found or recycled. Nothing is wasted.

  There are three installation pieces that range from six feet by seven feet to five feet by six feet in height and length. The pieces are stands based on frames for tanning leather and the paper skin maps are suspended in the frames so as to be viewed from both sides. One paper skin map is the search for answers and is titled Compass Rose, addressing the four directions of inquiry with the fifth direction of the heart. The two remaining maps are titled Lung Map and Blood Map. Both maps document the geography in which I live, and the plants that are found there that have had a profound healing affect on me.  Nine prints document the internal journey of reconnecting. The eight pocket books are a way to keep lists of toxins in cosmetics and body care products handy along with web sites for safe cosmetics and breast cancer activism. You can also store in the pockets, recipes and favorite herbal teas to help you get through the day. The four ceramic plant stands display what we, in our culture, have labeled weeds.  They grow unwelcomed in our grass yards.  Yet, they are powerful healing allies and perhaps in learning about their gifts, we can find a special spot in our yard where they can flourish and help us.

Margaret Porter-Daniel

Mixed Media



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