Heirloom is a collection of bedding printed with historically recognized garden plants that are now seen as weeds. Spread (Queen Anne’s Lace), Blanket (Briar Rose Counterpane) and Cover (Succory Ticking) as well as referring to the language of the bed, are also descriptive of the invasive tendencies of these plants. The pre-photographic nature printing technique was used to transfer information from individual blossoms to the stone matrix for printing. Printed units were then ‘patched’ together to create the bedding-sized images. This methodology echoes the time, utility and beauty of historic women’s work. Like family heirlooms that are too beautiful and precious to discard, but too fragile to use, Heirloom speaks of the responsibility and problem of collection.


Heirloom (Spread)
, litho on gampi. 94”X122” (hung)

Spread (Queen Anne’s Lace) 2011, 96” X 126”

Blanket (Rose Counterpane) 2012, 94” X 106”

Cover (Succory Ticking) 2012, 94” X 122”



Dents de Lion and Chicorée are images derived from photographs of pollen. Also problematic heirlooms, these small twin images are pictured as inherited baubles that are not necessarily admired, but kept for their links to one’s past.

Heirloom (Dents de Lion), litho acid tint. 10”X10” each


This work was conceived as part of Jumelages (twins by choice) an exchange between Ontario artists working at Open Studio and Quebec artists from Atelier Engramme, marking the fortieth anniversaries of both print facilities and culminating in exhibitions in both provinces in 2012. Six Ontario artists and six Quebec artists were selected by jury to work and live in each others provinces and produce six unique collaborative bodies of work in pairs. The project commenced in Toronto in October 2010 with Printopolis, followed by a week working at Open Studio before moving in November 2010 to Engramme. A catalogue will be produced. The six collaborative pairs are: Sally Ayre (OS) / Madeleine Samson (EG); Pamela Dodds (OS) / Diane Fournier (EG); Doug Guildford (OS) / Lisette Thibault (EG); Liz Menard (OS) / Jessie-Mélissa Bossé (EG); Liz Parkinson (OS) / Denise Blackburn (EG); Penelope Stewart (OS) / Lise Vézina

Both Denise Blackburn and I are interested in the collection and interpretation of plant material in time. We have conceived our project as an Herbarium (Herboriser) within the Jumelages Cabinet of Curiosity. Our work shares methodology in the exploration and collection of like forms, as well as the use of a similar historical technique of transferring natural forms to a litho stone for repetition in printing. Our images also invoke the care with which personal collections are preserved and presented, with Denise’s print fragments hung in specially prepared boxes and Liz’s larger ‘spread’ billowing out from a velvet lined case. In Dents de Lion twin macro views of Dandelion pollen preserve a sampling of the plant’s genetic information as ancestor portraits.

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