what is more than is known


Textile, Place-Based

The project what is more than is known is an exploration of urban ecology within the False Creek Flats. Historically, this 450 acre piece of land was a mudflat ecosystem and was known to the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw as Skwácháy̓s, meaning ‘water spring, or water coming up from the ground beneath.’ This ecologically prolific area went unharmed until 1916, when the land began to be filled in for use by the Canadian Northern Railway. Since then, continuous development has turned the flats into a hub for industry, erasing the remnants of this once vibrant ecosystem. My goal for this project is to bring attention to the flora that persists alongside the continuous urbanization of the False Creek Flats, using education to shift the perception away from the connotation of commonly-seen plants as parasitic ‘weeds.’ 

what is more than is known is a woven shawl embedded with seeds of plants foraged from the False Creek Flats. The shawl is an exploration of wearables that act reciprocally with nature; humans become an agent of seed dispersal for medicinal, or dye and fibre producing plants. This shawl is emblematic of a future wherein humans gain agency over their consumption in urban settings through knowledge of local plants and their uses. what is more than is known is a slow and persistent intervention against the continuous degradation of our ecosystems by industry; it begins to shift the dominant narrative in the False Creek Flats from an anthropocentric, economic point of view, to a holistic and ecocentric understanding.
Discovering ‘wild’ spaces within the city, identifying the plants and their uses.

Borage [medicinal] Borago officinalis

Borage’s leaves are supporting to those with colds, fevers, and respiratory infections. The flowers are edible and have a cucumber flavor.

Borage teaches us to accept ourselves, and therefore is a friend to all.

Queen Anne’s Lace [dye, medicinal] Daucus Carota

Queen Anne’s Lace dyes a cream to yellow, and can be made brown with copper additives. She soothes muscle cramps, has antiseptic properties, stimulates blood flow, and helps to flush toxins from the body.

Queen Anne’s Lace is a friend to those who are in need of transition and transformation.

Photos by Yutaan Lin

©  Copyright Danika Oystrek 2024
Living and working on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.