It's in that spirit that Artist Diana Durrand portrays the common dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale), using bold paintings, delicate drawings and elegant sculptures, all intended to override our entrenched suburban bias against this much maligned species. Her tribute, 100 Sleeping Dandelions, will be on display at the Gage Gallery in Oak Bay, April 10-21.
“From root to flower the dandelion is an edible, useful plant, its medicinal properties common knowledge among herbalists the world over,” Durrand says.
Yet, universally categorized as a noxious weed by homeowners and gardeners, the dandelion is mown down, poisoned and uprooted whenever it pops up on North American lawns, its hardy, prolific and incredibly adaptable nature the only things keeping the species from eradication.
“With this eclectic body of work my goal is to represent the many aspects of the dandelion I have experienced, from my earliest delights as a child, to the nihilistic adult attitude that has been cultivated by the home & garden industry,” Durrand says. “I’m hoping viewers can tap into some of their own childhood memories of picking, smelling, tasting and exchanging dandelions.”
Is the dandelion an 'invasive species’, introduced to North America and the rest of the world by the planet’s most pervasive invader, European Homo Sapiens; or is it a hardy, totally edible plant that has adapted to its new environments and flourished against all odds, to the benefit of human kind?
100 Sleeping Dandelions will shed some golden light on that question. The reception for the show will be held April 15 from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Gage Gallery, 2031 Oak Bay Ave. You can preview the works at DianaDurrand.com, where there is a video interview of Durrand and an online gallery of the exhibit.