S A M    F R A N C I S











closing in / green close up (35mm)


explorations of the colour green...... from 2020 

I received an Arts Council DYCP (developing your creative practice) grant in 2023 to develop an expanded, hybrid project that has been germinating in the undergrowth for some time.

‘Greening’ (working title) will explore what it is to become green, to be inside it, to embody it through personal explorations of gardening, walking, and landscape, alongside meanders into the colour green throughout art, nature, botany, philosophy, poetry, cultural history, music……

Throughout the year, I will be experimenting with what a hybrid arts and writing practice looks like through immersion in the colour green.  I will be sifting through the acres of notes, ideas, thoughts and research I have gathered over the previous couple of years to bring the project into some kind of shape and form. I will be having some mentoring to develop my writing, experimenting with making green inks and dyes from plants, printing with plants, and  reconnecting with 35mm film....... 

Posting progress + development on my 


Ghost Plants

(after my grandfather)

Just before the world locked down, my beloved grandfather died. He was like a father to me, and my writing into green is intrinsically connected to him. We discovered a Polaroid camera in a drawer after he had passed, with a pack of unopened film; dateless, but likely ancient. With the new greens of May rapidly pursuing domination of my garden, today I got it out.

These are the results.

Sometimes green can’t be seen as green anymore.
It is shadowy and stripped of colour like memory.
Ghostly greens, unearthly.
Like the fading ink of the invoice that he wrote out for me for my 30th birthday framed on the wall.
Senescing as we all are and everything is.
Bound for the earth. 

Green Ink

experiments with botanical ink making

I set myself the task of making green ink from plant matter. It is the process that is the pursuit. The pursuit of the perfect green ink. Or at least something good enough that will do.

I am hopeful for green liquid.

It is the green of plants that I want. Chlorophyll - the natural pigment that lives in the complex inner world of plants that makes them green. It is the magic dust that gathers up the suns energy so that plants can generate their own food. 

"chlorophyll" comes from the Greek chloros, meaning "green", and phyllon, meaning "leaf".

Yet the thing is that as soon as green is plucked from its root it begins to die and the thing that I want needs to be alive to be green.

All that is green
becomes brown


Garden Queens

with Teasel Cyanotypes

During the summer of 2023, I kept a teasel diary. I am working this into a pamphlet that I hope to get printed and published. 

The name teasel derives from the Old English tǣsl, tǣsel; and relates to the verb tease. The Middle English root meaning of which is to "pluck, pull, tear; pull apart, comb".

Wild teasels (Dipsacus fullonum) are recognisable for their spiky-prickly, brush-like cone heads. They are architects.  Their sculptural silhouettes cut fine shapes into  the sky.

There are two teasel plants standing guard in two corners of the raised bed in the centre of my small garden. In another corner the ageing wild fennel threatens to invade and take the whole territory. One corner remains off guard, and open to infiltration. This may be where the slugs and snails get in.

I am their witness. Gathering clues about them like a hybrid private detective, a scientist and a lover.

I am their beholder, their gaper, their gazer.

Their plucker, their puller, their teaser.

When summer is over, and they’re parched and thick with sun, I shall snip off theirr prickly heads one by one, and lay them on all of the chairs in my house like they do at National Trust houses where you live in the after-life so that common people don’t sit on the time-worn chairs that were made for the soft fleshy bottoms of Queens. Palatial thrones that are all theirs now.