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In the weeds


Sykes Gallery, Millersville University

Installation: Screenprint, Letraset​


In The Weeds, 2021

In the weeds” is a term that is used when you simply have so much going on that you cannot keep up. It is a term that is often used in the restaurant industry, which is exactly where I heard it for the first time. As a gardener, it is often the phrase that I use when I find myself overwhelmed, which is almost all of the time.

The weed that I chose to reference is Convolvulus Arvensis, more commonly known as bindweed. It is a particularly noxious weed. The vines spread like an army and they twist and climb and smother everything in their path. One plant can produce up to 500 seeds that remain viable for 50 years. Underground, the roots grow deep and will produce a new plant if the smallest piece is left behind. Keeping your garden free from bindweed takes patience and vigilance. Removing the vines once is not enough. You have to check in often, every week, pulling the weeds when they are small and trying your best to get the root so it does not re-sprout. If you are not careful and diligent, the plant will quickly overwhelm everything that you have planted.

For this installation, the gallery walls are covered with over 5,000 leaves that were screenprinted, cut out and wired by hand. There is text on the leaves which references the conversational inner monologue that sometimes takes place when you take on a big project…questioning your judgment one minute, working out your plans, and confirming your decisions the next. The leaves creep in the gallery from all directions, under and over the walls, forming large clusters that have the potential to overcome the space, literally leaving it “in the weeds”.

Recorded Facebook livestream tour of the exhibition


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