Anyway-Daphne Boyer

January 2017 - April 2017

Daphne Boyer

January 06-April 7th with Closing Reception and Artist talk April 08th, 2017 cancelled until further notice

My art is rooted in my Métis heritage and rural Saskatchewan childhood. My First Nations ancestors were women who formed unions with French coureurs de bois pushing west in search of furs. My French ancestors include two of the first 300 colonists to arrive at what is now Montréal in the mid-1600s.

Trekking across the bald prairie with my naturalist mother, I became fascinated with the order, beauty and life cycles of the natural world. This fascination grew into a passion for plants inspired by my family’s practice of healing with herbs, harvesting wild plants for food and cultivating large-scale gardens. The passion propelled me to become a plant scientist and later to use plant motifs in textile designs.

As a scientist I am fascinated by the way nature expertly assembles simple building blocks into larger molecules and structures essential to life; as an artist, I combine sensory details from the natural world – colors, textures, forms, smells and bird song – to create complex forms. As an indigenous person I have a particular story to tell.

My artistic process involves harvesting dying plant material and bringing it back to life in art. I use a variety of handcraft techniques in combination with a Cruse scanner and an archival digital printer to transform the material into patterns that I print on paper. The resulting images become building blocks that I further transform digitally, or through a series of traditional handwork techniques including beading, braiding and embroidering. To make order out of chaos, I arrange these images into geometric shapes and two- or three-dimensional structures that evoke the intricate relationships and ephemeral beauty of the natural world. The process reflects my personal healing journey and the works tell the story of my people.

Plants are the alphabet of my visual language. The works in this show chronicle my interaction with some important plant allies of my First Nations and French colonial ancestors – plants that grow in my Montreal neighborhood. When a particular specimen catches my eye during my daily walks, I monitor it – just like Mom and Grandma monitored berry patches. When the plant is ‘ripe’ I harvest selected material and use it to make art.