The Exeter Florilegium (2021)
Covid-19 commission for RAMM, Exeter
Created in collaboration with shielding elders and hospital staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, this herbarium collection is a celebration of resilience - of the tenacity of nature and the capacity of individuals and communities to endure the isolation and trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Containing pressed marginal wild plant specimens and garden flowers that were gathered daily in the vicinity of the hospital, the work documents the extraordinary period of time from the start of lockdown in March 2020 to the end of British Summer Time, mapping the ephemeral nature of the annual growing cycle against the daily recorded UK deaths from Covid-19.
It captures the biodiversity of plant life growing within a one-mile radius of urban space around the hospital - outdoor space which proved so critical to the mental health of local residents and hospital staff on their daily walks in the local area.
This work acknowledges the innate human need to connect with the natural world and serves as an elegy to the healing power of nature.
Commissioned by the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter 2020