Little Green Dress Projekt

As mentioned previously, VanDusen Gardens is host to an exhibition of land art called Earth. My friend Nicole Dextras is one of the five participating artists in the show. Her project is called, The Little Green Dress Projekt and she is creating a series of twenty eight unique dresses from plant materials in collaboration with twenty eight different women. The idea is that each woman (chosen by Nicole) provides their dress measurements, a bit of background related to clothing, and also the plant material to make the dress.

Because I don’t have a garden I needed to source the dress materials by foraging around the neighbourhood. I was eyeing all sorts of things before I settled on tansy, a wild plant that is in abundance at this time of year. I hacked down piles of it (as pictured below), being mindful of the many bees who seemed to be enjoying it as a food source.


The hilarious part was loading it all into my “art cart” and transporting it on the bus to VanDusen Gardens. The tansy is probably the most awkward item I’ve ever had to take on the bus, because the stalks are almost as tall as I am. Nicole was thrilled with the material, and I was relieved to hear I’d brought more than enough for her to work with.

Nicole Dextras – Little Green Dress Projekt

The results of this collaboration is a beautiful dress that I would love to wear if tansy wasn’t incredibly itchy against the skin.

Visit the Little Green Dress Projekt site to view more of the dresses.

Green Words: Nicole Dextras at Van Dusen Gardens

My good friend Nicole Dextras has been the artist in residence at VanDusen Gardens over the summer. Starting this weekend she will be presenting the installations created on site. Instead of having a traditional exhibition opening Nicole has opted to lead people on tours of her installations throughout the garden at select dates (Listed below).

Nicole creates her work from natural material such as leaves, twigs, thorns, grasses, flowers, etc., often with a focus on text. For the work in the garden she has created a pair of thrones to represent the King and Queen of Versailles, installed a rangoli made of leaves on the lake, grown a large scale version of the word culture from grass seed, and more. The tours begin this Sunday.

Green Words, growing the language
Sunday August 24 at 2 pm
Tuesday August 26 at 2 pm
Thursday August 28 at 7 pm

5251 Oak Street
at the corner of 37th Ave, between Oak & Granville Streets
Hours: August 10am – 9pm
September 10am – 7pm

(Nicole has a set of work in progress photos on flickr.)