In summer 2020, I began a site-specific natural dye project titled “Botanical Reclamation”, based around the 41 acres of land on the old Lafarge concrete and asphalt plant (on Silvercreek Pkwy between Waterloo Ave and Paisley Rd). This site has been vacant for over 20 years, and despite community protests around the removal of over 2000 trees in 2017, the site is now clear-cut and is currently slated for development in the next few years.
However, despite severe quarrying and degradation of the land, many incredible plant species continue to thrive on the site. Noticing that many of these plants have the potential to be used as natural dye material, I started harvesting these colours and infusing them into natural cloth. I am now presenting the first iteration of this work as a way to allow the plants to speak for themselves and draw attention to their habitat. The project has involved shaping these naturally dyed fabrics into a patchwork flag, which serves as a symbol of botanical resilience and a proud emblem of reclamation.
The Botanical reclamation project now has the opportunity to expand thanks to the support of the Guelph Arts Council's Jane Graham Award and the City of Guelph's Artist in Residence program. Follow the project in the online archive "Dye Plants in Curious Spaces"