Missing Pieces was supported through an Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition Creative Projects Grant. This body of work was originally exhibited at The Project Box in the Paseo District of Oklahoma City.
Missing Pieces is a study on the phenomenon of cause and effect in nature, and the way our interactions with and management of our environment can dismantle ecosystems by removing components on a niche – pieces upon which other pieces rely. Milkweed plants of the genus Asclepias are an important host for pollinators, in particular the monarch butterfly. The evolution of land management, including development, agricultural advancements, roadside mowing, and spraying of chemicals, has contributed to a decline in this group of plants. In turn, disappearance of milkweed disrupts the monarch’s breeding cycles and epic migrations, threatening the livelihood of one of the most well-known insects in North America.
Through knitted interpretations of milkweed flowers native to our region, I seek to awaken viewers to the important genus of plants upon which the monarch depends, as well as the broader picture of the human footprint on nature. These knitted botanical sculptures place milkweed plants beneath a microscope, exploring their unique features and vast responsibility within the entomological world.
Sculptures in this body of work are named for the botanical name of the species of milkweed that inspired them:
“Incarnata” – swamp milkweed
“Variegata” – white milkweed
“Hirtella” – tall green milkweed
“Purpurascens” – purple milkweed
“Speciosa” – showy milkweed
“Sullivantii” – prairie milkweed
“Asperula” – antelope horns
“Stenophylla” – narrow leaf milkweed
“Uncialis” – wheel milkweed
“Syriaca” – common milkweed
“Pumila” – plains milkweed
“Amplexicaulis” – clasping milkweed
“Tuberosa” – butterfly milkweed