I know a bank where the wild thyme blows...
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows...
Graphite, watercolor, acrylic & gold leaf on Arches paper, worm-eaten oak tinted to the color of the artist's flesh, glass, brass hinges, glassine envelopes, thyme seeds, Oberon’s love spell from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
31 x 124 x 3 in.

The series of four 25 x 25 in. drawings that compose I know a bank... reinterprets Oberon's recipe for a love spell, which he asks to Puck to enact upon Titania, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream:

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes...

In the same manner that Oberon plans to enchant Titania in the play, I had the notion to make a visual representation of a similar spell, which if cast upon the viewer, would cause them to fall (back) in love with nature.

In order to seduce most completely, each of the five senses is sensuously invaded by the natural world: the hand (touch) is grown over with lichen; the ear (hearing) is filled with warm honeycomb and the sound of buzzing bees, encircled with the oxlips and eglantine from the play; the mouth (taste) spills forth my favorite local wild edibles, including fiddlehead ferns, amaranth and service berries; and the eye (sight) grows a garden of entheogenic plants, including datura and henbane.

Small transparent envelopes full of the tiny seeds of wild thyme surround the piece, available for viewers to take home. This is the fifth sense (smell), which is delayed, and only able to be sensed if the viewer chooses to participate in planting and growing their own bank of wild thyme.

Each drawing's verso is gold-leafed, which along with the hinged frames, visually references Japanese folding screens. The frames themselves are constructed from worm-eaten oak, tinted to match the artist's skin color, suggesting a mortal return to nature.