Signs of Nature on the Wickquasgeck Trail
by Jessica Maffia
On view in the Visitor & Administration Building
June 25 through September 6
Jessica Maffia’s project follows a walk along the length of Broadway in Manhattan, the Bronx, and northward, where she photographed an element of nature on every block. The series asks the viewer to look more closely and explore the wisdom of the non-human and the poetry of the natural world.
This exhibition is made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Meet the Artist: Garden Observation Walk (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, July 10, 12-1:30pm
Join artist Jessica Maffia in exploring the Garden using our senses to make observations about nature and the environment around us.
Art in the Garden
Walking Broadway: Signs of Nature on the Wickquasgeck Trail by Jessica Maffia
I am hungry to know the wild around me. To connect to the wisdom of the non-human and the poetry of the natural world. There is a misconception that this once lush city is devoid of nature. It is important that we recognize what does live here because cultivating a relationship with nature is not a privilege or a luxury but a basic, fundamental physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual need. Towards this end, I set off on a pilgrimage to recognize and honor the natural world of New York. I have walked 15 miles of Broadway in Manhattan and the Bronx and photographed an element of nature on every block. The task required that I look slowly and carefully, sometimes pausing at great length in observation. Each image has been printed out and cut into a circle. The circle connotes a portal, a microscope or a telescope; I am asking you to look closer with me.
Broadway is not only a long street (it spans the length of Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester and beyond), it also has a long history. It was well-trodden by the Lenape for millennia prior to Dutch colonization. They called it the Wickquasgeck Trail. When it existed as such, Broadway meandered through lush forests of extraordinary biodiversity. New York City was an ecological paradise! This act of walking Broadway acknowledges the nature that presently exists while quietly holding the knowledge of what once thrived and is now lost.
This series is comprised of over 300 works, 29 of which are on exhibition here.
To learn more about Queens Botanical Garden’s Art in the Garden, click here.