Friday, August 3, 2012


Here are a few teaser photos of the dresses that Nicole Dextras made for the opening of the Earth Art Show at Van Dusen Gardens. My hat is covered with wooly lamb's ear and sage leaves, decorated with millet from Bathtub Gardens, my own cornflowers, and sunflowers from my garden and UBC Farm. The fabulous makeup (including the feathery eyelashes) was done by makeup artist/stone sculptor Sylvie Godin. If you read the post below, you'll learn about the wooly carder bees that inhabit my wooly lamb's ear plant (Stachys Byzantin). Yesterday as I was gathering leaves for the hat, a couple of female bees landed on my bare arms and looked up at me as if to say. Okay lady, you've taken enough, now leave some for us! So I opted to cover the back of the hat with sage leaves from a guerilla garden in the neighborhood. Also of note, the base of the hat is a 1950's chapeau from Woo Vintage.

And here they are! In most cases each woman supplies the material for her own dress. On my dress: wooly lamb's ear from my garden and members of the Seed to Sky Garden Club, hollyhocks and cornflowers I grew from seed from the Florabunda seed company (some of the cornflowers are from my friend Catherine's garden), amaranth from UBC farm (from a bouquet I was given for performing as the Queen Bee), more millet from Bathtub Gardens, and bamboo leaves from VanDusen Gardens. It takes a full day to make the armature for each dress and the leaves and flowers are pinned on with thorns.

We had fun posing for the paparazzi and chatting with the spectators. Thank you to Nicole for inviting me to be a participant in the Little Green Dress Projekt. It was incredibly inspiring to take part in the opening and get to see some of the backstage process of fitting and securing the dresses. Check out her blog for more photos and info on the other dresses. The dresses will be placed in the garden by the lathe house for the rest of the show. It will be interesting to see how they dry and decay. I find it interesting when people ask if you could buy the dresses--the idea of possessing something ephemeral brings up issues around ownership and nature. Now Nicole only has 22 dresses left to make by the end of September. Strewth!

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