During the spring of 2014, Guelph artist and Yorklands Green Hub member Christina Kingsbury and writer Anna Bowen collaborated with the non-profit Pollination Guelph to create a visual and literary multi-arts piece in the form of a 1000 sq ft quilt and poetry installation for the decommissioned Eastview Landfill in Guelph.
The quilt was handmade from recycled paper and plant material and embedded with native seeds Christina saved from local restoration sites. It was sewn together entirely on site and planted during a two-week long installation/performance. Bowen produced a series of poems that tell the story of the layered history of the landfill site and document the making of the quilt. The poetry collection mimics the gesture of quilting in its stitching snapshots and stories together. Selections of her poetry were printed onto the planted quilt, playing on the idea of a living word.
The public was invited to hear the poetry at audio listening stations on-site during the opening and closing events and to participate in the performative process of sewing and planting the quilt during the two week-long daily quilting performance. The quilt is now in the process of biodegrading, taking root, and becoming a living habitat for threatened pollinators like native solitary and ground-nesting bees, bumble bees, butterflies and other indigenous species. A second quilt was sewn and planted in June 2015.
Wild bees, butterflies, moths, flies and hummingbirds ensure plant reproduction and are responsible for an estimated one out of three bites of food that people eat. Globally, we are seeing widespread decline in pollinator diversity due to habitat loss, pesticide exposure and climate change. This massive ecological shift is one manifestation of what the artists see as the deep fragmentation of our relationships with the natural world. ReMediate is intended as a gesture of care that makes room for the storied relationship between the human and the ecological.
The Remediate garden can be found at the Eastview Community and Pollinators Park.