Flora & Fauna
In the spring of 2020, acclaimed Canadian ceramic artist Marney McDiarmid and educator Grace MacDonald initiated "Flora & Fauna", a public art project of large-scale installations of plants and animals on windows in their community. Their first work was at a cafe closed due to COVID. "At a time when people were largely confined to their homes and the usual joys of spring were largely inaccessible,” explains McDiarmid, “we found a way to inject some of the feel of renewal into surprising places.” First they drew spring flowers and images of a much-loved local family of foxes on the windows of a nearby cafe. Their next project was drawn on a neighbourhood house and mirrored the plant and animal life of nearby parks and city streets. Now the pair are drawing endemic Hawaiian plants and birds on the windows of long-term care facilities in the city, taking their fantastical art to people whose lives have been severely curtailed by the pandemic, and providing a point of interaction, as passersby are drawn to the windows. This most recent work is inspired by McDiarmid's Ontario Arts Council grant that enabled her to study these plants in Hawaii in March of 2020.