Invasive Botanicals is a series of hand-rendered drawings depicting the top five most invasive plants in the Northeastern U.S. & more specifically in New York City where I was living at the time. The biggest inspiration for this project is the fact that one of the largest culprits for the proliferation of invasives is the lack of intimate human involvement with these species & the land itself. The drawings are also inspired by my medical herbalism studies & are part of a much larger project called the Invasive Apothecary & the Invasive Species Creative Proposal Series. The Invasive Apothecary deconstructs popular notions of invasive species by rejecting the intolerant militaristic language used to describe invasive species but also examining their larger ecological potentials, the contemporary & historical human relationships to the land & the use of invasive species as food & medicine. Ecologist Brendon Larson states that the inaccurate perceptions of invasive species, "contribute to social misunderstanding, charges of xenophobia, & loss of scientific credibility.” Each drawing is purposely done in the style of a classical botanical drawing & is meant to be a subversive act which comments on the idea that only "prized" plants are worthy of being depicted in scientific illustration. Color for each work was intentionally reserved for the part(s) of the plant which have a long history of medicinal use.
In order of appearance we have: Ailanthus (Ailanthus altissima), Barberry (Berberis vulgaris), Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), Phragmites (Phragmites australis), Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)