Local artist Jenn Rawling knows her plants.
In her latest show, “Secret Life of Plants: Exploring the Botanical Connection,” which will open with an artists reception tonight at Studio &, Rawling wants viewers to remember that we are all a part of the bigger botanical world.
“Images of nature resonate with almost everyone because we’re not separate from it and it’s a part of who we are. We are a piece of the whole, part of the ecology, as imbalanced as things may seem,” she said in a Studio & news release. “Our bones remember rivers. We are mostly water. We have evolved with our surroundings, the plants around us, the dirt, the trees, each other. The human/plant relationship goes all the way back. I’m interested in the connection we have with plants, especially the ones we’ve reached for to cure and heal.”
Rawling has been putting together the exhibit for the last three months. The exhibit is made up of limited-edition linoleum reduction prints and paintings, the subjects of which are plants that for whatever reason drew her in, she said.
“I just really went in the direction of, ‘What am I being attracted to right now and what’s catching my eye?’ I do really like native plants and medicinal plants, so there are a few of those in the show,” she said. “I did a couple thistles, just like some noxious things – just anything. I just kind of opened it up and just kind of let it happen. For me, because I like to study plant medicine and I like to study plants – their shapes and things like that – the challenge is and the fun is to find something artistic and magical about a specific plant that also has a semblance of botanical accuracy.”
She said she likes plants that grow in alleys and ditches or against derelict buildings. An herbalist, she is drawn to plants with healing properties as well.
“Often, I am inspired to include medicinal plants whose healing properties I imagine we need more of,” she said in the release. “California Poppy has been capturing my attention for years. This plant promotes a sense of calm, and I suspect we could all use a good dose of that these days.”
For Rawling, “Secret Life” is about more than pretty pieces on the wall; it’s about having a reverence for nature and creativity.
“I think celebrating and recognizing the potency of connection to nature and honoring it and moving in a direction of stewardship and sustainability is something that I think is super important,’” she said. “Also, just creativity in general; celebrating our process, the connection to our specific process.”