Quarantine Herbarium is a participatory botanical photography project led by Gem Toes-Crichton, William Arnold and John A. Blythe.

The project seeks to alleviate symptoms of Plant Blindness* through a hyperlocal focus on flora while salving the monotony of lockdown through engagement with the accessible historical photo method of cyanotype sun-prints!

Cyanotype paper with instructions for use will be posted to participants to make unique plant prints to be compiled into both an online and physical collection of specimens. The lockdown forces a focus on that which is close to home, so it is hoped that the Quarantine Herbarium will form an important record of an unusual interaction with an oft overlooked part of the natural world.

Weeds are much encouraged but plant specimens must be collected from the participant’s gardens, or area immediately adjacent to their homes, as per government guidelines on travel and permitted exercise, no ‘plant collecting’ trips are allowed.

*Plant Blindness, a term coined by botanists James Wandersee and Elisabeth Schussler in 1998, refers to a cognitive bias in which we struggle to recognise and appreciate the value of diverse flora over zoological forms, especially prestige species. 

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