The Carolinian Herbal (2016-present)
The Carolinian Herbal weaves together folkloric and ecological stories through combined photographs of plants and animals in the Carolinas. The flora and fauna depicted are native, naturalized, invasive, or formerly extant but now extinct to the region, which has been my home for over a decade. Before combining each animal and plant species, I research the latest scientific insights about each, as well as their regional, national, and international folklore, fables, and myths. After digitally compositing the base photographs, I rework the images both digitally and traditionally through painting and drawing. Historic etchings and woodcuts are also collaged into the images, drawing literal and metaphoric lines between early scientific and folkloric beliefs. Even as our scientific understandings of these plants and animals continue to evolve, the folklore and myths surrounding these species also evolve. Plant and animal lore — whether handed down through the generations or spun out over a week on Tumblr — is in constant development.
These high-resolution images are printed large (~ 60” x 48”) on cotton sateen, and hung from the wall as floating banners. I also have a limited edition on paper (24” x 18”) available for exhibition or sale.
In The Carolinian Herbal I combine folklore about plants and animals found (or previously found) in North Carolina with my own contemporary, constructed mythos.