Raquel Edwards Studio

Encaustic Paintings

Hortus Santiatum : Finding Wellness in Nature

University of Portland 

Buckley Center Gallery 

August 21, 2017 - September 19, 2017


This series of encaustic paintings explores the longstanding role of nature and the natural environment in our well-being. Drawing inspiration from the fields of pharmacy, botany, plant folklore and spiritual healing, the paintings feature plants known for their curative properties.

Many of the paintings depict plants that not only have ties to ancient pharmacopoeias such as the Ebers papyrus (16 BC), Shennong Bencao Jing (1st century AD), and De Materia Medica  (1st century AD), but that are also currently used as effective treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, malaria and HIV/Aids. Although our understanding of how these plants heal has evolved from crude tinctures to the isolation of active compounds, the importance of our relationship to the natural world remains constant.

With thanks to the Regional Arts and Culture Council and the University of Portland for their support of this project.