Sunflower Spiral

A living floral installation that invited viewers to experience Nature from a different perspective.

I have incorporated spirals in my work over the years, especially the Fibonacci Spiral, which is found throughout Nature. The Fibonacci Spiral is a mathematical formula, like a numbering system, that makes up the building blocks of the Cosmos. It’s easy to see this spiral form in the face of a sunflower bloom.

The Sunflower Spiral is based on the Fibonacci Spiral and is approximately 130 to 140 feet in diameter. The outline was traced onto the land using flour and Mammoth sunflowers which grow 9 to 10 feet tall, planted along the radiating lines. Viewers were to be invited to enter the installation and walk in among the towering sunflowers to experience Nature and their connection to it from a different perspective.

Nature had other plans. In the summer of 2018 wildfires burned out of control in North America and the drifting clouds of thick smoke plunged the site into a haze of darkness for many weeks. This change in weather drastically impacted the growth of the sunflowers, stunting them to less than half their size, delaying their flowering until the sun returned. They finally began to bloom in early October—they were to bloom in August. So the conversation became about climate change and how it’s impacting the planet and all beings.

Alchemy Farm, Salt Spring Island 2018 ~ Created in honour of the first Canadian Flowers Week