Mark Dion is an American artist whose work incorporates aspects of archaeology, ecology and detection. He is fascinated by the principles of taxonomy, the systems of classification by which people have sought to bring order to the world.
Mark Dion conducts large-scale projects in which he questions the role of specialists — from archaeologists to ethnologists, from historians to art curators. Dion has been particularly influenced by the work undertaken by nineteenth-century naturalists, such as Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace.
Storey Gallery has commissioned Mark to research and develop a new project about invading species, focusing on Japanese Knotweed, a large herbaceous perennial plant native to East Asia. This species is similar in appearance to bamboo and grows to 3-4 m high. Japanese Knotweed was taken to Europe and USA by Victorian botanists as a decorative plant, but is now a major problem in several countries. It forms thick, dense colonies that completely crowd out other herbaceous species and block waterways.