I had an epiphany when I moved to Madison and saw the Wisconsin prairie for the first time. A prairie was not a field of a few kinds of tall grass, which I had imagined it to be from the book and TV series Little House on the Prairie. The prairie, I discovered, was full of rich and various textures and colors, changing all year long. After I began gardening for the first time in my life in Madison, I realized that a prairie is not a pretty “garden field” full of wild flowers, but a battlefield where many different species fight for survival. The texture and topography of the prairie is the collective territorial marks left by the continuous actions of each entity, expressing the intensity of life. Rather than from an ideally planned calculation like a common garden, the beauty of prairie emerges from spontaneity embracing the randomness of nature, which reminds us of our humble acceptance of life. However, the spontaneity of the prairie does not create a meaningless chaos that discomforts us; rather, it is balanced, offering a well-composed beauty that humbles and comforts us, which is what I try to capture in this work, Texturia Wisconsin.
SoHE Grad Student