(2017 - 18)
T.S. Eliot’s descriptions of the abstracted landscapes in The Wasteland inspired a series of elegies sketched during long walks along the East London canals and the river Lea. ‘Fireweed’ departs from a text by Brian Dillon, that describes the Rosebay willow herb as a symbol of of both regeneration and decay. The dormant weeds collected for the still life had grown in the riverbed by Arcadia street in Poplar, a century after East London was heavily bombed during the First World War.

Fireweed. ‘Rosebay willow herb is a ruin-loving plant, the weed of decayed modernity. [...] the plant is a marker of disruption and decay, and grows on charred ground after forest fires have destroyed all other vegetation. So attuned is it to such sites that if it does not appear in the wake of a fire it is sometimes sown as to start the process of organic regeneration - it is a plant of hope as much as ruination. At the seminary, it seems to stand sentinel in rows about the buildings, as if gaily awaiting some ritual or celebration by which the complex might be brought back to life.’

‘Sanctuary’, Brian Dillon

Another garden
another island
another place.
A mirage in many forms.