I am delighted to announce that the UCLA Library Special Collections for Medicine and the Sciences (Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library) has acquired my folio, Native Grasses of the Apache Highlands.
The folio now takes its place alongside a growing collection of artists’ books that interpret nature in a new way. Additionally, Native Grasses now resides amongst a pantheon of marvelous botanical works spanning six centuries of scientific discovery, many of which are beautifully illustrated.
According to the curator, Native Grasses fits into several of Special Collections’ criteria for acquisition. It is scientifically and botanically correct, depicting extraordinary details of these wondrous plants. Over the centuries, natural historians and artists have used the artistic technique of the era to depict plants and animals: woodcuts, intaglio techniques (engraving and etching), wood engraving, lithography, chromolithography, photomechanical techniques, and now, very high resolution digital imaging and printing.
In this context of rare books, manuscripts, and other unique materials, my work can be accessed in a variety of ways, depending upon the interest of the researcher; it may be seen as an artist’s book, as a work of botanical literature, or both. Special Collections for Medicine and the Sciences is well positioned to embrace the objectives of discovery that are inherent in my work: it encourages interdisciplinary thought and exploration through the use of primary materials . The Folio will be available to researchers and artists from a wide variety of disciplines inside the University, as well as outside.
As a resource for creative learning, I am delighted that the beauty of the grasses – the inspiration of life itself – can now become a catalyst for a future vision of resilience and healing. For today’s students, who are faced with the challenge of understanding an ever-increasing volume of information, and I am hopeful that my work will perhaps inspire a meaningful thread of inquiry across time, with new-found relevance towards the tasks of the future.
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