Nature is my inspiration. Over twenty five years of living in the Gatineau hills, taking long walks in the woods and watching the seasons change, I have seen the wildflowers come and go. Their cycles can be fleeting and so dependent on the weather – is it too dry or wet, too hot or cold for them to last? In my work I am saying – ‘Come. Look. Did you see them? They bloomed and died a moment ago’.

The solidity and size of my sculptures is in contrast to the apparent delicacy of the tiny flowers but speaks to a deeper truth: despite their small size and seeming fragility, they are hardy and resilient. They return year after year. My work therefore is an act of translation – capturing these momentary blooms in fabric and paint that could potentially last forever.

As they bloom I study the flowers carefully, photographing, dissecting them and looking at them through a magnifying glass. This close observation has taught me how intricately complex and beautiful they are. I am fascinated by their structures, their shapes and colours – the pure physicality of each flower. My pieces are just that: explorations, studies. I want to see how Nature has made them, how she’s put them together. I have learned so much – how the back of a leaf or petal can differ from the front, how the colour of a stem changes from top to bottom, how pollen clusters on the anthers, how a style joins the ovary, how the sepals can wrap around the base of the petals. I love this Emily Dickinson-like tiny world that people take for granted or simply run over with their lawn mowers. I strive for botanical accuracy however there is a natural abstraction that emerges from rendering them at human scale and in these materials. In creating them so large I am saying ‘We are small compared to the grandness of Nature, like ants walking through blades of grass’.

There is a spirituality about Nature for me, something reminiscent of the religious iconography I observed in my childhood travelling through the countries and, specifically, the churches of Mexico, Central and South America and Europe where people leave gifts of flowers or lit candles at the altars of the saints. These offerings are requests for blessings and prayers of thanks. In showing my flowers I have come to see them in this light – with a spirit of gratitude.