Thursday, December 22, 2016
"Indian Pipes" by Karma Grotelueschen
Against swathes of green and brown
Later we'll think them dreams
I received my set of prints from Baren Forum's Exchange #70 today - yay! Out of the 25 other prints, I decided to highlight this one. Admittedly, I'm particularly interested in it because I've been making prints with more plants, and also because I'm grateful to now know about Monotropa uniflora, otherwise known as the "ghost plant", "corpse plant", or as in the title of this wood engraving, "Indian Pipes".
This print caught my attention because of how rubbery and tube-like the subject appears in contrast to the grassy, woody textures that surround it.
In the colophon, the artist left some comments explaining her rare and fascinating subject:
"Record summer rains bring hundreds of ghost plants to area woods. These white plants lack chlorophyll so live parasitically on a fungus that in turn parasitizes the roots of trees. Also called Indian pipes, they are rare and only grow from their hidden roots when conditions are right, not appearing for many years sometimes."