I started to create these series of Plant Warrior Women in response to the idea that plants have different stages of spiritual development, just like humans. And when we ingest these plants we are taking on the properties of these plants. These beliefs came out of my research around indigenous knowledge systems, particularly those of the African Continent. My enquiry connects to the diaspora whose ancestors were displaced during the transatlantic slave trade. I have been looking at the botanical legacies and healing traditions of my parents generation (who came from the Caribbean) and tracing those traditions back to their African source.
So, in my initial response to making these warrior women, I asked the question ‘what would the embodiment of a particular plant species look like?’
My initial lineup of warriors embodied the plants that my parents generation used for health and healing: Cerasee, Aloe, Burdock, Sage, Ginger and Castor. These initial warriors were included in my first solo show The Seed Keepers, in 2021.
Since then I have gone on to develop these warrior women by allowing them to tell the story of foodstuffs which were transported with the enslaved on the ships sailing from Africa to the New world - To Stand Independant and Proud, 2022 and The Warriors Way: Recalling the Lost Legacies, 2022
All works measure 76x56cm and are graphite, watercolour, pencil and ink on paper. To Stand Independant and Proud and The Warriors Way: Recalling the Lost Legacies, also contain 22ct shell gold