To Merill Comeau, the cacophony and chaos of plant life parallels our shared human experience of coping with a complex and shifting environment. In her large-scale fabric interpretations of the natural world, she makes use of incongruous materials with past lives: artists’ brush cleaning rags, a mother-in-law’s blouse, cast-off sheets from the Salvation Army, plastic mesh bags from garlic bulbs, vintage linens, and colorful fabric samples. The complexity of the work is compelling from a distance, but also draws viewers closer to engage in the sensual surface. www.arboretum.harvard.edu. Opening reception in the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall of the Arnold Arboretum will take place Saturday, March 12, from 1 – 3, and the show will be on exhibit through April 24.