During dispersal happenings wearable art objects embedded with plants or seeds are taken into public places and given away. In doing so, the limitations of a traditional gallery setting are bypassed and the public can be engaged directly. In return for the art, participants are asked to wear the piece and eventually plant it then respond back with thoughts on the experience.
The leaf necklace began in the spring of 2013 during a residency at the Women's Studio Workshop. It was completed and dispersed in August, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It’s comprised of a grouping of approximately one hundred and fifty individual necklaces made from shaped sheets of abaca pulp, waxed linen and various seeds. When the necklace is planted, the seeds embedded within the paper will sprout and grow into beneficial plants to potentially enrich the participant's home or neighborhood landscape.
The art object(s), whether it is a necklace, brooch, or corsage, is designed to be a vehicle for engagement.
Over 200 paper corsages were made for this project. The petal paper is handmade abaca with embedded chamomile seeds and the stem is made from handmade cotton paper. In addition to having the ability to remove and plant the petals, the stem was filled with loose seeds that could be sprinkled from the corsage.
The petals of the corsage can be planted and the seeds will grow. Shown here are chamomile sprouts growing from the paper petals of the corsage.
We gave away warm cups of chamomile tea during this dispersal happening to highlight the benefits of the chamomile plant and to chase away the chill of a rainy spring day.
The MAX light rail train was the setting for part of the chamomile corsage dispersal.
The bulb brooch is made from hand felted and sculpted merino wool dyed with onion skins. It held an Egyptian Walking Onion plant who's seeds were passed down in my family through generations, beginning with my late grandfather who began growing the onions in his garden over 40 years ago. The smaller bulblet brooches contained a tiny bulb from the onions and were given away to willing participants. Pictured here is a volunteer wearing the brooch and helping with the dispersal process.
Participants were given an informational handout and a postcard with a map and they were asked to mark on the map where they planted their onion. Pictured here is the handout and a returned post card.
Branch is a piece by the Second Nature Project that was part of an exhibition at the Bush Barn Art Center in Salem, Oregon. The exhibit was titled: The Nature of Things; Oregon Artists Explore The Tree in Art; it ran from early November through December, 2016. The piece offered an opportunity for visitors to intimately engage with non-human nature by adopting a baby redwood tree. Michael Pollan writes, “A garden is a place where people can learn to use nature without harming it.” Branch brought a tiny garden to the gallery and to the visitors who adopted a tree brooch.
Collaboration was an integral part of this piece. Finding common ground in the social practice art movement, Jody Dunphy and Ruth McKinney Burket worked together over a period of two years to develop Branch. Ruth contributed her expertise in casting and ceramics while Jody contributed design thinking and jewelry experience resulting in the production of over one hundred and fifty of the cast porcelain brooches that were given away during the duration of the exhibit. In exchange for the tree brooch, visitors were asked to write or draw their thoughts on trees and connections to them and leave it in place of the brooch. The collaboration was extended to the visitors who were invited to take a tree, wear it, and plant it.
This page is dedicated to showcasing Branch and serves as a library where you can view a sampling of the participant's photos and musings on their connection(s) with trees.
Jody setting up "Branch." Photo courtesy of Salem Art Association
The dispersal happening at the Furthermore Gallery is an interactive piece adapted for a gallery setting. The necklaces were hung on the wall and given away during several events held at Furthermore gallery as part of Design Week Portland, which took place between October 3rd and 9th, 2014. About forty necklaces were given away and thousands of seeds dispersed.
The piece was made over the course of a year and a half, beginning in the spring of 2013 during a residency at the Women’s Studio Workshop. It’s a grouping of about one hundred and thirty individual necklaces made from shaped sheets of abaca pulp, waxed linen and various seeds. When the necklaces are planted the seeds embedded within each necklace will sprout and grow into beneficial plants that will beautify and enrich one’s home or neighborhood landscape.
Leaf necklaces were hung on the gallery wall. Visitors were encouraged to take one home and plant it.
The leaf necklaces are made from shaped sheets of abaca paper that are embedded with seeds. They can be worn, then planted. The seeds will potentially sprout and grow from the paper.
The intention of this piece was to showcase the newly hatched Second Nature Project. It was part of the 2012 MFA in Applied Craft and Design Practicum Exhibition and the dispersals took place during the opening and closing receptions. The Sunflower Dispersal Necklace was created specifically for the event. The structure of the necklace is made from strands of silk and wool felt and the seeds are embedded between sheets of handmade abaca paper and attached to the necklace structure with waxed linen. During the dispersal happenings, the seeds were removed from the necklace and tied onto participants’ fingers - a poetic, performative act evoking the custom of tying a string around one’s finger as a reminder….A reminder to plant the seed and a reminder that we are part of, and will always be dependent on the natural world.
The structure of the necklace is made from strands of silk and wool felt and the seeds are embedded between sheets of handmade abaca paper and attached to the necklace structure with waxed linen.
This project was a study in using seeded paper as a large-scale architectural or sculptural medium. The screen was made of cotton and abaca pulp mixed with clover and buckwheat seeds. The total dimensions were approximately twelve feet high by twenty four feet long. The sprouts grew from the paper screen for several days in the gallery and then were moved outside and planted.