Queens Botanical Garden - Where people, plants, and cultures meet

Art in the Garden: “Invasive Pigments”


Darcy Hector- Queens Botanical Garden
718-886-3800 ext. 330




Flushing, NY – July 17, 2013—Queens Botanical Garden is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition on Tuesday July 23 in the Gallery of the Visitor & Administration Building: “Invasive Pigments” is a series of watercolor-like paintings on paper by NY-based artist Ellie Irons.  Ms. Irons is an interdisciplinary artist exploring the interplay of humanity and ecology through drawings, environmental sculpture, and electronic media.

“Invasive Pigments” is a research-based project exploring the migration and proliferation of certain plants in tandem with dense human populations. Weeds and other “unintentional plants” found in urban centers are mined for pigments, which are then used to construct map-like portraits of each species. These portraits detail species’ points of origin as well as their spread through contact with humans.  All of the paintings in this exhibit were done with hand-made pigments which were created from locally-sourced invasive plants.   Ms. Irons traces the journey of these plants, such as asiatic dayflower, pokeweed berry and garlic mustard, from their native habitat to their new ecosystems.

 “Regardless of medium, I engage the interplay between humanity and ecology, exploring what it means to be alive in the advent of the Anthropocene. As a young adult, I studied environmental science and fell in love with biology field work. As my practice developed, I began to integrate science and art. I now work in a hybrid format, splitting my time between the lab, the field and the studio.  I am interested in creating work that reveals how humans are embedded in ecological systems rather than distinct from them.”

Born in rural Northern California, Ms. Irons went to college in Los Angeles and studied art and environmental science.  She uses the tools at her disposal, from paint to dirt to WIFI to reconsider our long-held notions of nature.  Project by project, she seeks to reframe nature as ecology, locating humans in an all-encompassing, inescapable network of melting ice, shifting populations and evolving technology.  As part of her tenure at QBG, Ms. Irons will hold a public art workshop on August 18th for interested members of the community.

“Invasive Pigments” will be on display until October 28th.  For more information about this exhibit or about Queens Botanical Garden, please contact Darcy Hector at (718) 886-3800, ext. 330 or dhector@queensbotanical.org

Queens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs and demonstrations of environmental stewardship. Located at 43-50 Main Street in Flushing, Queens Botanical Garden is easily accessible by car, train, or bus. For travel directions and more information visit www.queensbotanical.org or call (718) 886-3800. Queens Botanical Garden is located on property owned by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

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