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Bush, Tracey
Common nettle : Urtica dioica.
Additional Title(s):
Nine wild plants
Physical Description:
1 drawing : graphite ; 41 x 24 cm, on sheet 44 x 28
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio B 2016 4a
Yale Center for British Art, Friends of British Art Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Visual Materials
"Bush's work has often dealt with the impact that man makes on the environment and she began Nine Wild Plants after reading ecological thinkers, including Paul Hawken, who notes that the average Western adult can recognise over 1000 brand names or logos, but fewer than ten local, indigenous plants. Posing the question 'Which nine wild plants could you confidently identify?' Bush began emailing a range of people and collecting their responses. Texts from these email exchanges are reproduced in a small artist's book and form the basis of a series of unique, transparent bookworks that include original line drawings of the plants described. Central to the exhibition was a series of nine, large-scale, collages drawings including the stinging nettle, buttercup and poppy. These works interweave a theme of lost knowledge with the rigour of scientific specimens. Bush referred to the Herbarium Handbook as well as to her own observed drawings to make templates for hand-drawn plant silhouettes; she then collaged fragments of found materials illustrating sweet packet, cigarette and fizzy drink logos etc. ..."--Emma Hill, in Printmaking Today.
Other items produced for Nine wild plants, and now in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art, include: the finished collage of Meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris); the finished collage of Field poppy (Papaver rhoeas); and drawing no. 1 (collage) and sketch no. 1 of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). The collection also includes a copy of the Nine wild plants artist's book.
Preliminary sketch ("Sketch no. 4") for Common nettle, one of nine collages made by Tracey Bush for her Nine Wild Plants, a solo exhibition in 2006.
The sketch is drawn in graphite, and depicts the silhouette of a common nettle plant. Signed, in pen and black innk, at lower left: "Sketch no. 4. Herb/04/05." At lower right is a specimen label, completed in pen and black ink: "Flora of [Britain]. Botanical name: [Urtica dioica]. Vernacular name: [Common nettle]. Altitude. Date: [05/09/05]. Habitat: [Edge of pathway between allotments, Hampton Wick]. Notes: [Under large trees, 1 or 2 plants]. Collector: [Tracey Bush]. No: [4]"
Subject Terms:
Botanical illustration -- Great Britain.
Branding (Marketing)
Hawken, Paul. Declaration of sustainability.
Logos (Symbols)
Plants -- Great Britain.
Plants -- Identification.
Stinging nettle.
Wild flowers -- Great Britain.
Wild flowers -- Identification.
Women in natural history.
Graphite drawings.

"Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower" : Artists' Books and the Natural World (Yale Center for British Art, May 15, 2014-August 10, 2014) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

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