Buffalo-born and Richmond-based artist Hillary Waters Fayle's Botanical Blueprint began as a series of cyanotype prints created in collaboration with visitors to the 25th anniversary edition of Garden Walk Buffalo in July 2019. Community members arranged portions of local plants on sun-sensitive paper, resulting in prints featuring their fragmentary silhouettes. The artist then used these prints as the basis for the imagery of Botanical Blueprint.
For Waters Fayle, the significance of these plants goes beyond the aesthetic; as she explained, “plants are a marker of place, a connection to the land and to our past; native or invasive, the plants of our homes feel like old friends to us.” Within an urban context, especially one as rapidly changing and dynamic as neighborhood around 244 Dewitt Street, she draws a parallel between the natural advantages of planting gardens with many different types of plants and the benefits diversity can bring to our human communities. “The plants in a garden support one another,” she explains, “and they work together to create a unified community. We can use that metaphor to talk about our own communities and to celebrate the beauty in our diversity.”