Shared Seeds

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Shared Seeds

Series of seven drawings, ink on paper, 170 x 100 cm, 2017

The artwork consists of seven copies of botanical drawings made by 19th century Southern Indian artists Rungiah and Govindoo, who contributed greatly to the book by Scottish botanist Robert Wight (1796-1872). The black-and-white Icones Plantarum or Figures of Indian Plants, published between 1820-50s, is still considered one of the most useful guides to the flora of southern India.

Among the 2115 plants described in Icones Plantarum there are seven plants that in the course of centuries have arrived in the furthermost North and currently grow in Finland. The climates of southern India and Finland - 8000 kilometres apart - are unsurprisingly very different: Finland lies between 60 and 70 degrees latitude, while Kerala between 7 and 12 degrees. In Finland there are four seasons of a subarctic and boreal climate; Kerala's tropical climate has just two seasons.

In their project the artists explore the historical and present-day use of these plants, and will track their journeys. The project constructs a de facto bridge between two locales by analysing local customs, medicine, herbology and culinary habits.