Grafted Narratives (2014)

Grafted Narratives, Dual Show with Susan Mains – 2014
Asher Mains

Our realities can only be shaped by the language we use to describe and interpret them. By expanding the vocabulary of our experiences we are rewarded with a more elusive, vibrant reality. The words we use can be limiting; in this body of work I explore botanical terms as a way of describing human experience. My interest in agriculture and natural processes has seeped into my paintings as I give human qualities to terms ordinarily reserved for plants.

Archaeophyte, for example, describes a plant that is a non-native to a geographical area but had been introduced in an “ancient” time. It also describes the painting of a Rasta gazing at the viewer with eyes tempered by wisdom and age. Or Epicorm, a part of a plant that would not grow except if the plant had been damaged or burned. Epicorm in the series is an old man, squatting and waiting to be provoked into expressing his new form.

There are many secrets that these paintings hold along with their Latin names. I have enjoyed the journey into botany to better understand human phenomenon. I encourage you on your own journey as you interact with the work. The next time you are reaching for an answer, whether it’s a word or an idea, consider asking the plants.

Catalogue of the exhibition:

Arc Magazine article about exhibit:

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