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BARBARA ROGERS

sherry leedy contemporary art


SHERRY LEEDY CONTEMPORARY ART 2004 Baltimore Ave. Kansas City, MO 64108 816.221.2626 sherryleedy.com Catalog design Allison King Photo credit E.G. Schempf Cover Image Shrines to Botanical Relics #23 All quotes are by the artist


BARBARA ROGERS Shrines to Botanical Relics Exhibition dates November 1, 2019 - January 25, 2020


Artist Statement This new body of my work, Shrines to Botanical Relics, is made up of oil paintings on wood panel. Each panel includes a niche or niches holding actual large seed pods or dried plant parts, some of which are on the endangered species list. Other forms from nature that I have collected over the years are also part of the series. For the paintings with an endangered seed in the niches; there may be good news. There is already evidence that seeds as old as 2,000 years can be reconstituted to produce new life. My hope for the seeds that are endangered species is that the seeds will remain within the painting and perhaps someday be the source of the return to life of a considered extinct species of botanical beauty and importance. St. Fiacre is the Patron Saint of gardeners. Born in Ireland in the 7th century St. Fiacre was venerated as a skillful user of healing herbs. His fame comes from a miracle performed after he moved to France to establish a monastery. The French Bishop, promised to give Saint Fiacre all the land he could enclose with a ditch with the provision that it had to be dug within one day. Saint Fiacre, using an ivory cane, drew a line in the dirt around a large plot of land and miraculously the ditch dug itself. He built his monastery and gardens within this perimeter, which can still be seen today. The monastery grew fruits and vegetables to feed the hungry and cultivated herbs and flowers to use in healing the sick. Visitors to Fiacre’s garden brought seeds and plants from afar, and his gardens became famous throughout Europe. Women were forbidden inside the monastery. As that was centuries ago, I’m willing to overlook that. I am a woman with a garden. It is time that all gardeners and agricultural workers had their own Patron Saint.

Barbara Rogers 2019


Shrines to Botanical Relics #15 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 28� x 28� 3 sun bleached prickly pear pads. These sun bleached pads of prickly pear cactus are from my Tucson garden. It took many years of sun exposure to get them from green to white.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #3 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 10� x 8� The dried bloom in the niche of this painting is a Chrysanthemum. I have had it for many years and just love it as a beautiful object from nature. For centuries, the Chinese people have used chrysanthemums to make various forms of medicine. In traditional medicine, chrysanthemum has been used to treat chest pain, high blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, dizziness, and more.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #4 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 10� x 8� The seed pod in the niche of this painting is a Banksia Menziwsii Cone. It is native to Australia. Banksia is a genus of around 170 species in the plant family Proteaceae. According to Australian Geographic some species of Banksia and Eucalypts are facing extinction.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #14 Oil on panel, unidentified botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 28� x 28�


Shrines to Botanical Relics #21 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 51” x 22.5” The niche in the middle of this painting is a dried Agave Tequilana Leaf “Blue Agave”. Agave tequilana, commonly called blue agave or tequila agave, is an agave plant that is an important economic product of Jalisco, Mexico, due to its role as the base ingredient of tequila, a popular distilled beverage. This leaf is from my garden. In the niche on the left is the seed pod of an Entada Gigas. The common names for this seed pod is Sea Heart and Monkey Ladder. It grows on a large, vigorous vine in the legume family, native to the tropical Americas and Africa. While its robust stems and pinnate foliage are not unattractive, its most notable feature are its giant seed pods that can reach a length of 78 inches and hold up to 15 large, glossy, dark brown, heart shaped seeds. The seeds float and can be distributed by ocean currents over large distances, which probably accounts for its wide distribution pattern. The species has been reported as endangered. The far right niche contains a sun bleached pad of a prickly pear cactus from my Tucson garden. It took many years of sun exposure to get it from green to white.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #11 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 16� x 16�

The two niches in this painting contain unknown seed pods and natural forms from the sea that I cannot identify. I have them in my collection of natural objects for many years and have saved them because I think they are interesting forms.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #16 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 36� x 24� The niches in this painting contain nests that belonged to paper wasps. The nests were on the ceiling of my front patio in Tucson,AZ. I did not remove the nests until the wasps moved on after the weather became much cooler. Gardeners and agricultural workers consider paper wasps, Polistes Crolina, to be a beneficial insect because it pollinates plants and crops when feeding on plant nectar, and preys on some plant pests, including caterpillars, cicadas, and beetle larvae.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #23 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 23.5� x 23.5� This is a cross-section of a Saguaro Cactus. This 20 foot saguaro cactus was on the property when I bought my newly build house in 1990. The roots of a saguaro go out the same distance as the height of the plant. Roots and earth elevations change radically when the houses are built in the desert. The law says saguaros must not be moved. You have to build around them. Builders try to do that. Still many of the slow growing saguaros are lost as a result of construction projects. The plant gets too much water due to changes in drainage patterns or often the roots are destroyed. It may take the saguaro several years to die. When one of mine died and fell over; I had the landscape person cut it in sections. I dried the sections in the sun for over ten years.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #10 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 12� x 12�

The dried plant material in the niche of this painting is likely the top part of the cone of Abies grandis (Grand Fir). This has been in my collection for a long time and I could not identify it. To identify it, I asked for help from a Botanist Friend at the University of Arizona. Abies grandis, commonly called grand fir, is a large, evergreen fir with a spire crown in youth that typically rounds into a multiple-layered dome with age. This is not an endangered species.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #20 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 48” x 36” The niche in this painting contains the pollen bearing male plant part of a Cycad. The photographs collaged to this painting were taken in my garden in Tucson,AZ in 2019. The one on the left shows the female cycad and the one on the right is the male. Cycads are seed plants with a long fossil history that were formerly more abundant and more diverse than they are today. They typically have a stout and woody trunk with a crown of large, hard and stiff, evergreen leaves. They usually have pinnate leaves. The individual plants are either all male or all female. During the Jurassic Period they were a common sight in many parts of the world. Today only a handful of cycads still exist, and many are facing possible extinction in the wild. They are often referred to as “Sago Palms”.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #12 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 16� x 16� The seed pods in the niches of this painting are Banksia Menziwsii Cones. They are native to Australia. Banksia is a genus of around 170 species in the plant family Proteaceae. According to Australian Geographic some species of Banksia and Eucalypts are facing extinction.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #8 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 12� x 12� The plant material in this niche has been in my collection for many years. A botanist friend from the the U of A has a best guess that this is the empty fruit of a bloom from the Plantanus or Plane tree. Plane tree can be any of the 10 species of the genus Platanus, the only genus of the family Platanaceae. The plane trees bear flowers of both sexes on the same tree but in different clusters. This is not an endangered species.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #5 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 10” x 8” The seeds in the niche of this painting are from the Mokha tree. Native to India, the name Mokha Pod reflects the Hindi language term for the tree on which the seedpod is found. Botanists know this species as Shrebera swietenioides. It’s a member of the family Oleaceae olives. The fruit is not edible.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #18 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 36� x 24� The right hand niche contains a skeleton of a large prickly par pad. These prickly pear cactus are from my Tucson garden. The left niche is an unidentified stem with seeds.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #13 Oil on panel, unidentified botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 28� x 28�


Shrines to Botanical Relics #22 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 23.5� x 23.5� This is a cross-section of a Saguaro Cactus. This 20 foot saguaro cactus was on the property when I bought my newly build house in 1990. The roots of a saguaro go out the same distance as the height of the plant. Roots and earth elevations change radically when the houses are built in the desert. The law says saguaros must not be moved. You have to build around them. Builders try to do that. Still many of the slow growing saguaros are lost as a result of construction projects. The plant gets too much water due to changes in drainage patterns or often the roots are destroyed. It may take the saguaro several years to die. When one of mine died and fell over; I had the landscape person cut it in sections. I dried the sections in the sun for over ten years.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #7 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 10� x 8� The seed pod in the niche of this painting is in the Araceae family . Perhaps it is an Zamioculcas zamilfolia. Commonly known as the ZZ plant; it is native to Africa.


Night Games Acrylic on canvas 48” x 36”


Shrines to Botanical Relics #17 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 36” x 24” The niches in this painting hold Peruvian Pima cotton seed pods. Cotton moved north into Arizona from Mexico more than 2,000 years ago. There is archaeological evidence of cotton-growing, cloth-making and cottonseed cuisine in Southern Arizona as early as 400 BC. Cotton cultivation continued in Arizona throughout the Spanish Colonial, Mexican, Arizona Territorial and early Arizona Statehood periods. Even though Arizona cotton is fueling the West’s water crisis, every year more than 100,000 acres of cotton still get planted, making the crop the second-most popular in the state.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #9 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 12� x 12�

The four seedpods in the niche of this painting are unidentified. They have been in my seed collection for many years. Even my Botanist friends could not identify them. They may be from an endangered species.


Traces #6 Acrylic on canvas 30” x 24”


Shrines to Botanical Relics #1 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 8� x 10� The seedpod segments in the niche of this painting are Araucariaia bidwillii/Bunya Bunya pine. Male and female cones are borne on the same tree. A tree bearing mature female cones is potentially very dangerous. The cones weigh ten to fifteen pounds or sometimes even more. They are often said to resemble dark green pineapples. Bunya pine cones are generally larger and heavier than pineapples, however, and they have the added danger of falling to the ground from a great height. Some public gardens barricade the area around the trees when the female cones are dropping, since a blow from a cone could be deadly for visitors. The largest stand of these evergreen trees is in Queensland, Australia. Once abundant in Australia, most are now in protected formal reserves and national parks. The seeds in this painting are from the tree at Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota, FL.


Shrines to Botanical Relics #6 Oil on panel, botanical material, plexi glass, gold leaf 12� x 12� The plant material in both niches may be a dried cardamom seedpods. Even friends who are botanists have not identified some of the seedpods in my collection.


Blue Heaven Acrylic on canvas 30” x 24”


SHERRY LEEDY CONTEMPORARY ART 2004 Baltimore Ave. Kansas City, MO 64108 816.221.2626 sherryleedy.com

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Barbara Rogers: Shrines to Botanical Relics