Beautifying Cities with Unwanted Weeds and Discarded Textiles.

on Tuesday, 03 June 2014. Posted in Artists, Blog

When Nicole Fournier established InTerreArt, I wonder if she consciously chose a title that is resonant with layered meanings.

"Inter-Art" (integrated arts) is a term that refers to the merging of formerly distinctive art forms. Fournier combines installation, performance, and social practice. However, she expanded the typical application of the term 'inter' in a work entitled "Companions and Transformations". Instead of combining diverse forms of artistic expression, she combined two kinds of human disdain: weeds and discarded textiles.

Fournier assigns value to each. The plants are actively 'rewilded'. The process involves creating protective containers so that plants can thrive on the cement surfaces that prevail in urban settings. She accomplishes this by gathering discarded coats, covers, sheets and other used textiles, using them to create protective containers so that the perennial root systems of wild edible plants can prosper.

"InTerreArt" (terre = terra= earth) provides an opportunity to add two additional meanings to her enterprise. On the one hand, terre indicates that earth (soil) is key to Fournier's installations, performances, and social practices. She emplys earth as a medium of transformation and productivity.

At the same time, by capitalizing "Terre"  in "InTerreArt", Fournier emphasizes her abiding concern for Earth as a living planet.

For "Companions and Transformations", different types of plastics and geotextile synthetic materials, donated by Certex, are used to foster the growth of plant tissue. Certex is a non-profit organization that sorts the discarded textiles. Fournier's project reduces the amount of waste textiles that Certex sends to landfills.

Thus, this project not only reduces waste, it augments plant growth and dispersal. But this project is not merely function as an environmental remediation project. It also utilizes weeds and waste textiles to vitalize rigid concrete structures by adding wild foliage such as yarrow, ground elder, goldenrod, and Jerusalem artichoke.These hardy and drought resistant plants that are excellent sources of nutrition, medicinals, and beautiful the city.

Fournier explains, "My present work in process involves the complexity of linking food and textile agriculture issue to ecological solutions of recycling, rewilding, bioremediation of microplastics with wearable or mobile garden sculpture or installation, to cooking, drawing, eating, nourishing."

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