Monday, February 13, 2017

What the Flowers Know

What the Flowers Know
mixed media collage,  11 x 8.5 inches
ingredients: vintage book cover and ephemera, dried plant parts, found objects, image transfers, mica, brads

When I made this piece, I was really thinking about this subject in the poetic sense: personification, metaphor, just to name a couple of literary devices that might apply. But I recently read a very thought-provoking and seemingly incredible article in the the New Yorker called The Intelligent Plant by Michael Pollan.

"The new research, he says, is in a field called plant neurobiology — which is something of a misnomer, because even scientists in the field don't argue that plants have neurons or brains.
'They have analagous structures,' Pollan explains. 'They have ways of taking all the sensory data they gather in their everyday lives ... integrate it and then behave in an appropriate way in response. And they do this without brains, which, in a way, is what's incredible about it, because we automatically assume you need a brain to process information.' "  (PRI Science Friday)

Amazingly, he goes on to explain detailed experiments that show apparent presence of memory by plants, as well as responses to stimuli, such as hearing, and even the ability to learn. To me, this is poetic in itself, because it makes us aware that all living things are more alike than we ever thought possible. How could we not be connected, when we are made of the same stuff?  Life started as a single cell, and grew and differentiated from that cell, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised at the commonalities among different forms of life. You can listen to the podcast of Science Friday or read the article by following the links above.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

You Never Know

You Never Know
mixed media collage,
ingredients: vintage ephemera, pencil, image transfers, magazine cut-out on multi-media board

It seems I've been saying this a lot lately. The world continues to grow more puzzling by the day; the future seems more uncertain than it has in a very long time. Things you thought could never happen, well - they have, and they are. Still, the world is full of good people; the amazingly selfless things they do often take me by surprise. Perhaps they are angels in disguise. You never know.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.”
“One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
“The other is good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”