Wednesday, 6 January 2010
This is the beginning of my blog about the Dandelion Project, but the project has been running for a couple of years or more already (mainly in my head).
I think it started in early 2006 when I decided to conduct a weed survey in Preston city centre (for an art exhibition). I found over 70 different plant species in a small urban area - in cracks in the pavement, down gutters, on roof tops etc. I was interested in how species adapt to the harsh environment of the urban landscape, but also found that some species thrive in it too.
Dandelions were one of the top in numbers, and I noticed that many had different shaped leaves and were very variable. Perhaps this is where the Dandelion Project started?
The following year I was lucky enough to be invited to make new artwork for an exhibition at Bolton Museum and Art Gallery where I met with Patricia Francis - Keeper of Botany at the Museum. She showed me how to collect, press and present specimens. It was then that I started to collect dandelion leaves and press them. At first there was no order to the collection and I didn't really label them at all, but at the start of 2008 I started to devise my own methods of labelling and proceeded to use a diary to document where and when they had been collected.