Les Plantes de Mamie

35mm Film Photographs
Selected images from the cycle, 2012-2019

“In 2012, inspired by a childhood portrait of my grandmother carrying a plant, my grandmother Yolande and I started a project entitled Les Plantes de Mamie in which we depict her lifelong attachment to plants. Her house in the countryside of Eastern France is filled with over five hundred pot plants, and her garden is truly a wonder. It is a harmonious and peaceful place that has been carefully tendered since 1960. Yolande has never travelled far from home. She calls this place her small world. She loves the sound of the birds in the open garden and often wishes her inside garden, which is her entire house, could be more like outdoors. Yolande’s attachment to plants is deeply emotional. She says, “I need them; they need me. They make me feel useful, and I receive their positive energy. They are good company, and not just because I am old. There is something spiritual in caring for them.”

Musicologist Veronica Muchitsch wrote about this cycle: “Les Plantes de Mamie is an ongoing photographic work, which contributes to the artist’s recurring examination of relationships with latter sphere (an ever-evolving examination of tender relationships between self and others, between creatures of human, animal or herbal nature). Featuring the artist’s grandmother’s life in Alsace, France, amidst countless, tenderly for, pot plants, the photos create a multilayered effect. Much like Johanna Tagada’s paintings, they primarily function through colour, form and textures. On an additional layer of meaning, the pictures radiate with a tenderness that derives from relationships – those between the artist and her grandmother, between Yolande Hoffbeck and her plants, between Johanna Tagada and the “objects” capture in her pictures.”