But of course it does.
As a species, we have had an impact on all parts of this globe. Within the cities that I know best, Montreal and Toronto, the woods and green spaces can be either tended and protected, abandoned and ignored, or under threat from development, but still, the growth there represents human histories. My series of textile maps, Nel mezzo del cammin, tells some of these stories using textile piecing and digital and hand embroidery. Generally, I see my work as aesthetic advocacy, arguing for the preservation of urban green spaces and inviting others to enjoy them. Adapting the motto of the late urban adventurer Ninjalicious, my attitude to the urban wild has been “access all areas.”
From this perspective of human entitlement and desire, I was particularly concerned to discover in November 2014 that one of my favourite Toronto woods, the Glendon Forest, had been closed to foot traffic to allow for re-naturalization.
I’m conflicted about all of it – the idealization of a ‘re-naturalized’ state, the efficacy of closing off the Forest, the possibility that neglecting it actually promotes dereliction and invasion by noxious species, the determination that some species are noxious, and my and others’ use of the space, regardless of the ‘rules’. What is right in this complex, entwined posthuman reality?
The Glendon Forest and three other of my textile maps of walks in urban woods are on view at the Centre culturel Georges Vanier until September 27, 2015, as Tissus urbains / Urban cloth.
2450, rue Workman, Montreal, QC H3J 1L8