This new body of my work, Shrines to Botanical Relics, is made up of oil paintings on wood panel. Each panel includes a niche or niches holding actual large seed pods or dried plant parts, some of which are on the endangered species list. Other forms from nature that I have collected over the years are also part of the series.
For the paintings with an endangered seed in the niches; there may be good news. There is already evidence that seeds as old as 2,000 years can be reconstituted to produce new life. My hope for the seeds that are endangered species is that the seeds will remain within the painting and perhaps someday be the source of the return to life of a considered extinct species of botanical beauty and importance.
St Fiacre is the Patron Saint of gardeners. Born in Ireland in the 7th century St. Fiacre was venerated as a skillful user of healing herbs. His fame comes from a miracle performed after he moved to France to establish a monastery. The French Bishop, promised to give Saint Fiacre all the land he could enclose with a ditch with the provision that it had to be dug within one day. Saint Fiacre, using an ivory cane, drew a line in the dirt around a large plot of land and miraculously the ditch dug itself. He built his monastery and gardens within this perimeter, which can still be seen today.
The monastery grew fruits and vegetables to feed the hungry and cultivated herbs and flowers to use in healing the sick. Visitors to Fiacre’s garden brought seeds and plants from afar, and his gardens became famous throughout Europe. Women were forbidden inside the monastery. As that was centuries ago, I’m willing to overlook that. I am a woman with a garden. It is time that all gardeners and agricultural workers had their own Patron Saint.
Barbara Rogers is represented in major public and private collections including The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ; The Oakland Museum of Art, CA; The San Jose Museum of Art, CA and The Arizona State University Museum, Tempe, AZ and the Tucson Museum of Art, AZ.