Oonagh Corr channels a passion for the natural world, the seeds of which were sown in her childhood (living on the outskirts of Derry) and developed during a career in landscape architecture. Climate breakdown and the catastrophic loss of wildlife are the propellants for her work.
An MA Creative Practice (2019) led Corr to examine basketry, sculptural form and installation as a way of connecting with and communicating the natural world. Locally foraged weeds, particularly bramble – a ubiquitous, much-maligned plant, crucial to biodiversity – are her primary weaving materials.
“Botanical investigation is part of my process as is researching the magical and mythological status of these ‘vagrant’ plants who feature in traditional medicine, lore, poetry and song. I also map, capture and embed the sounds of foraging sites in my installations. A recent wider dialogue around weeds has led to my use of ‘graffiti’ (inspired by the rebel botanists) – this and botanical illustration represents a digression for me that I am exploring further.”
“By shifting the narrative, I hope to instil curiosity and create a fuller representation of these natural ‘outcasts’. By also elevating their names my goal is to rouse our connections to these plants and, in my own way, add to the chorus: to save what we know and love.”