All the herbalists and I are root diggers | Ann Shelton
All the herbalists and I are root diggers (Roots, Root Diggers, Wortcunners, Root Men, Root Maids), 2022-ongoing
Framed: 45 5/8 x 34 5/8 x 2 1/4 in (116 x 88 x 5 cm)
Roots are believed to be the part of the plant where healing power is concentrated. All the herbalists and I are root diggers… attempts to focus us back into the dirt, the earth and on the things that are not tangible to us below its surface but are powerful forces in our environment. This work asks the central question of this series: how can we reconfigure our relationship to nature?
When making this work, the artist gave close attention to the structure of the world tree drawing, with its equal focus on roots underground and the tree’s above ground elements. Suzanne Simard's book Finding the Mother Tree and her wood-wide-web concept was another key reference, looking at the ability of tree roots to transmit essential nutrients to each other.