It sits at the corner of South 15th and G Streets like a beacon. Architecturally it’s just an ordinary large four-square Craftsman of the kind you see all over that neighborhood, but it’s what’s in the windows that make it shine, literally: 28 backlit photographic panels of brambles, thistles and weeds on a heroic scale, lighting the darkness in silent, appreciative hope. It’s “FlowerHouse,” a City of Tacoma-granted installation by artist Duncan Price, who lives in the house and has come up with a great way to brighten the darkest time of the year (and promote his work at the same time).
Sitting on the corner one block down from St. Leo’s and St. Nicholas’ on Yakima Avenue, the “FlowerHouse” functions, in fact, a little like a church – visually, at least. Every single window, from the small rectangle over the doorframe to the three-part bay window on the side to the upstairs bedrooms, is completely covered over with a backlit rectangle printed with a giant, close-up shot of a weed. Yes, Northwest garden pariahs like blackberry, ivy and thistle are here captured with all the care and fascination usually given to more exotic species like hummingbirds or orchids: A yellow dandelion bloom sparkles with morning condensation, a bramble’s thorn arches greenly out of a blood-red base, a purple thistle-flower spreads a dainty, delicate filigree. Read more »