Andrea Simmonds is a painter who focuses on local ecology to inform her practice. Using fieldwork, reference guides, and experience, she explores the intersection of ecology and abstraction. She studies plant relationships with complementary species and interprets this into paintings. Much of her work is focused on the Garry oak ecosystem, capturing some of the rare and unique plants it encompasses.
Andrea Simmonds received her BA from Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, QC. She is currently studying for her MFA with Emily Carr University (2024 candidate). She lives and works in Victoria, British Columbia, on the traditional territories of the Lək‘wəŋən people represented by the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations and the WSÁNEĆ People of the Saanich Peninsula, W̱JOȽEȽEP (Tsartlip), SȾÁU,TW̱ (Tsawout), BOḰEĆEN (Pauquachin), and WSÍ,KEM (Tseycum).
“This body of work began as an inquiry into some of the fascinating wildflowers that occur in the alpine meadows in Mount Revelstoke National Park, including Glacier lily (Erythronium grandiflorum), Arctic Lupine (Lupinus arcticus) and Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata). As I was working, it expanded into the way in which celestial forces influence wildflowers, how natural plant placement indirectly reflects constellations, and the relationship of the sky with the earth at high elevations.
In this collection of paintings, I wanted the sky and earth to be reflections of each other in a way that invokes thought about all the conditions present to support alpine meadows. I am inspired by the immense strength and preciousness these wildflowers embody, the translucence of a petal in sunlight, the influence of altitude, sunshine, wind, and nightfall. Wildflowers are beacons to a diverse range of pollinators, who are all essential for maintaining biodiversity. In this collection, I’m interested in the sophisticated communication that occurs between pollinators, flowers, and the sky. Within this series I am exploring some of the overlaps between the earth and the sky, for example Subalpine daisy (Erigeron peregrirus) light purple flowers that are part of the Aster family, in latin, this translates to star. I wanted to represent these relationships within my paintings, honoring the way in which these different entities come together, their interdependence and the strength they bring to each other. Wildflowers are a place where the sky and earth meet.”