Dangerous Beauty: Invasive Plant Art at Adkins Arboretum

Mile a Minute Art, Mixed Media, Tina Thieme Brown

Mile a Minute Art, Mixed Media, Tina Thieme Brown

I delivered this art for a show on invasive species eleven days ago and I am still reworking edges, details, and composition in my mind.  That is the way it goes when I am working on art for a long time, this deadline was 3 years for me.  And I am still thinking about plants that didn’t make it in the show, and even a few that did.

Mile a Minute, is a nasty invasive plant.  Asian in origin and devastating once it is introduced, it was overwhelming to depict.  How to describe the delicate, trailing stems on this deadly vine?  Armed with recurved prickles that will not let go, this geometric jungle will leave lasting scars if you try to dislodge it.

I still remember the siege we faced in our field last summer when it arrived. It starts out with a few innocuous looking arrow-shaped leaves trailing along the ground, and then before you know it, it has hitched a ride on any standing vegetation, loping across our field on the stems of Pokeweed.  We tried to remove it, but it keeps showing up.  So I have had the physical battle with it, as well as, the preliminary sketches to get me going on the art for this invasive devil.

Mile a Minute, invasive plant photographed in Tina’s field.

Mile a Minute, invasive plant photographed in Tina’s field.

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