How many exhibition works:
The Botanist is the first solo exhibition in Wales by Canadian artist Myfanwy MacLeod. Taking Michael Pollan’s book The Botany of Desire as a starting point, MacLeod examines four plants: the apple, the tulip, cannabis, and the potato, each identified by Pollan as evolving and multiplying across the world over centuries, to gratify human desire.
Across different media, MacLeod interrogates our mutually entangled histories through these rooted beings. Cultivating a vegetal gaze, from the fateful apple that brought about Adam and Eve’s downfall to the humble potato, MacLeod reconciles us with the botanical world, magnifying the interdependency and symbiotic relationship between plants and humans.
The exhibition has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council and Canada Cymru.
Of Welsh and Scottish descent, Myfanwy MacLeod (b.1961) lives and works in Vancouver, Canada, on the unceded traditional territories of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples, the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Her work engages with art historical conventions as influences and foils in feminist critique of mastery, genius, and power.
She uses humour to introduce qualities such as awkwardness, self-deprecation, affect and doubt. In doing so, she addresses assumptions concerning gender, privilege, and value by examining the overlaps between ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultural forms.
She has made several permanent and temporary works which explore ideas and perceptions around the monuments and figurative sculpture. She has exhibited her work throughout Canada, Australia, the United States, and Europe. Her work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and international private collections.
Chapter Arts Centre, Market Rd, Canton, Cardiff, CF5 1QE