Saturday, January 9, 2016

Printing with Weeds

What is a weed?  That's a question I've been considering lately during my research.  A plant in the wrong place?

As part of my upcoming Tambo exhibition 'Big Smoke, Little Smoke', I'm currently working on an artwork using weeds, with a working title of 'The Journey'.   I've been busy collecting 'weeds' from around my garden and local spaces, carefully pressing them between papers before monoprinting them onto envelopes.

The idea behind using envelopes is to reference the movement and spread of unwanted plant species. Envelopes are associated with the postal system, carrying messages from place to place.  I've also recently developed a fascination with the inside of envelopes - there's a myriad of designs and colours.  For this project I've focused on blue patterns.

The finished work will be installed directly onto the wall using pins or tape, with the envelopes slightly overlapping and flowing down the wall.  I've completed about 30 prints, and I'm aiming for at least 50.

So instead of spraying my weeds with poison or throwing them in the bin, they're been immortalised in my artwork and helping me to tell my story.  And....there's less weeds in my garden.  Win Win!

a pressed weed on the plastic plate, ready to be printed
My growing pile of prints

I love this silhouette print with the
envelope pattern showing through

Ghost print on envelope


  1. Those are lovely -- I do the same thing with cyanotype printing.

  2. My son-in-law says that if you like it, it's a flower. If you don't like it, it' a weed. I have grown to like more plants over the years. Easier than pulling weeds for hours.