Up on Stone Hill, marigolds are flowering vividly in Pallavi Sen’s garden, and here by the reflecting pool I’m looking at the berries of a coffee plant and wondering if I’ve ever seen them before.
They’re ripening as red as mountain ash … in Colombian artist Carolina Caycedo’s woven portrait of Faustina ‘Tinti’ Deyá Díaz — Every sip of coffee will be a blessing to you, cada sorbo de café será una benedición para ti.
Caycedo creates portraits of people and plants, through carefully grown relationships, spiritual fieldwork. I’ve come back to the Humane Ecology show at the Clark Art Institute to see the show in fall sunlight, and looking at Díaz among her coffee plants and monarch butterflies, I wish I could talk with her.
She founded Casa Pueblo in Puerto Rico, a community project for farming and local economic stability, that now grows coffee sustainably and protects resources for solar energy and a butterfly reserve.
I wonder what kinds of butterflies live there that I have never seen … deep blue mangrove skippers, Puerto Rican harlequins, vivid orange and black and white, golden queen swallowtails, Antillean mapwing … and I only know their names in English. What would she have called them when she saw them flying on a fall evening?
She includes work from a series she calls ‘We Save Our Seeds for the Following Season’ … and on the terrace of the Stone Hill Center, Professor Pallavi Sen is saving seeds in her own garden, from squashes and zinnias and flowering runner beans.
Events coming up …
Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.