I wove together the imagery of healing flowers and the words of poet Patrick Kavanagh to create the fabric of my project.
When I was first assigned this project, I was adjusting to living on my own for the first time and the new atmosphere of New York City. I was nervous because I had grown up around lush greenery, wide flower fields and muddy creeks. I was also nervous because as I grew up, I would get sicker more frequently, more intensely, and for longer periods of time. I had learned that nobody has the right to live perfectly in a world that can seem so illustrious and perfect itself.
I was now on my own, in a new world, which had perfect imperfections that felt familiar to me. The fear of growing sick again blossomed into the inspiration for my project. I began to research the symptoms of the sickness and ailments that I have endured, and the herbal and plant remedies that were used to cure them. I then sketched out the flowers I wanted to incorporate in my poster. As part of a homework assignment, I had to sketch flowers with their significant context, and I included the healing flowers and their specific remedies in my sketchbook.
I soon changed my mind once I began creating. I decided that, in order to best convey the cyclic existence of healing and falling ill, I wanted my flowers to appear knotted and gnarled, but still stay true to their form. I did so by layering each common hepatica on top of one another, but changing the opacity each time, this way the altered poem is still legible, and that the illusion of healing is displayed through the darker flowers spreading out and becoming lighter and thinner.
As for the poem, I chose Patrick Kavanagh because he is a prolific Irish poet, and his poem “Primrose” is the title of a healing flower and dreams of scintillating details of the natural world. I decided to manipulate it, however, as I felt that his words and my thoughts could be coupled together better.
Ultimately, my project has helped me stay uplifted and cheerful at times when I want to feel blue. I enjoyed the research and planning portion of the creative process just as much as I enjoyed getting to know photoshop when creating the poster itself.