In the exhibition Roll Up that Tender Air and the Plant Dies, the Colour Fades there are references to domestic living such as rugs, plants, and ceramics throughout the show. What role does domesticity play in your work?

A lot of the collage material I work with comes from books found in thrift stores. I look out for DIY home manuals, including picture framing, woodworking, interior decorating, gardening, natural houses, curtain and drapery how-tos, houseplant and architecture encyclopedias, as well as collectors guides to glassware, ceramics, rugs etc. I identify with a lot of the ideas found in these books around creating or doing yourself, growing your own garden and creating a beautiful and environmentally friendly place to live. Recycling, reusing and reducing are referenced more heavily in a lot of these dated books (60’s/70’s era mostly) and although those green ideologies and movements are still circulating, they seem to have been commodified, rather than incorporated into our lives in a more holistic way.
Studio Visit with Alicia Nauta

Plants are featured heavily throughout the show. There is a sense that nature has overtaken the environment; however, all the plants have a manicured air as to suggest they’ve been raised and kept in domestic spaces – a tension between the natural world and our ongoing attempt to tame it. Why do you think we are compelled to bring nature indoors?

The plant images I use for collage material are found from a variety of sources, but mostly encyclopedias or houseplant manuals where a simple line drawing of the plant accompanies the description. I like to combine the organic lines of the plants with harder, more graphic lines and shapes. The tensions between the natural and manufactured world are all around us; I fear humans have damaged the natural world to an irreparable point. Environmental damage, nuclear waste piling up (that will be around for 250,000+ years) food and water shortages, overpopulation, and failing ecosystems don’t exactly paint a positive picture for our future. A quote from Michael Pollen’s article The Intelligent Plant, “Plants dominate every terrestrial environment, composing ninety-nine per cent of the biomass on earth. By comparison, humans and all the other animals are, in the words of one plant neurobiologist, “just traces.” Imagine a world after humans have left and plants slowly take over again; that’s a pretty beautiful image.

Studio Visit with Alicia Nauta