Responding to sites around the world through works created in site specific installation, intervention, ephemeral sculpture, video, sound, web, permanent site-specific sculpture, photography, printmaking,painting & drawing.
Mount Tuam Garden Project, 2012
12”x13”x1.5” Birch panel, Digital C-Print Photograph, Beeswax and Damar resin encaustic,
L-R: Lupin, Columbine, Daisy, Forget-Me-Not, Foxglove, Echnitorps, Hydrangea, Peony, Poppy, Rose, Snowdrop, Yarrow
This series of encaustic photographic works is based on my own garden. I moved to Salt Spring Island in the fall of 2009 from North Vancouver. I'd been living in an apartment for a few years - so not 'me''. I needed a break from the city, from my hectic life. During this retreat time I was finally able to have a garden again. Working in it made me think about the knowledge that has been, and is being lost, as we move away from an earth-based way of life. An ancient way of life. I began to think about the plants I was tending, plants that you see in gardens everywhere, plants that can be picked up at any garden shop. I became curious about the healing properties each carried, wondering what healing magic they held. I photographed our garden for over a year, through the seasons. I collected thousands of photographs and saved seeds. I came away from this work - as in all my work - in awe of the absolute perfection of the natural world.
I chose twelve plants to represent the seasons. The number twelve was chosen for it's numerological meanings: 12 months, 12 astrological signs, 12 stations of the Moon and the Sun. In some religions 12 expresses the Divine Mother, and in Chrisitanity, 12 is the number of universal fulfillment: 12 commandments, 12 disciples, 12 tribes of Israel, etcetera.
The Bee has long been considered sacred, and symbolized immortality and resurrection. The bees in the photographs are a reminder of the crucial role they play as pollinators - they pollinate over 80& of all plants on Earth plus their honey is both a food and a healing medicine.
The photographs are sealed with wax encaustic, an ancient paint recipe made from beeswax and dammar tree resin. Beeswax is a natural preservative, resistant to moisture, acid and mold.
Each of the glass test tubes, suspended by copper wire from the bottom of the photograph, is capped with copper and sealed with beeswax. Copper is traditionally used fo healing and beeswax for preservation. Each tube holds seeds from the plant in the photograph - most of these were collected by me from the plant. Written in pencil, by hand, on the back of each work is a haiku that describes the plant and its medicinal qualities.
Each of these works could be viewed as a seed bank with the wax encased photographic image, preserved seeds and directions for use.
©Ingrid Koivukangas 2012
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