Inventing Nature: Creating through Repetition
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As an artist, I am inspired by natural processes and forms, but do not explore them in a scientific way. Instead of creating representations of them, my work remains abstract, I work intuitively, and the images ultimately come from my own imagination. Natural systems such as tissues develop from individual units that multiply into more complex structures. As these replications grow, mutations occur, disrupting the process leading to unpredictable results. The repetitions and mutations eventually create complex patterns and forms that we can see. However, the internal units and processes that form the external bodies remain invisible to the naked eye. My work consists of drawings, sculptures, and installations that have both two-dimensional and three-dimensional qualities. In order to create the feeling of a natural system I work very repetitively, always building off of small units. The work draws attention to the mutations that come about through repetition. While I started just focusing on natural growth, creating mutations by changing the patterns in my drawings, as I began to work more dimensionally the mutations came about through how I altered the form of the materials. I began to use processed materials made by a manufacturer or processed myself. The materials I make include: handmade paper, paper pulp, cooked kozo (paper mulberry bark), cranberry sauce, and spun wool. The industrial materials include: plaster cloth, chicken wire, wire, honey, corn oil, pencil, pen, and ink. Combining materials, such as hand-spun yarn with manufactured wire or honey with dried handmade paper, formed contradictions that came to represent the mutations. These contrasting materials created tension in the work through oppositions that included: order versus chaos, growth versus decay, outside versus inside, small versus large, soft versus hard, and wet versus dry. However, my work at the same time strives to achieve a balance between these conflicting forces. While there is a focus on the internal structures that create organisms, the sculptures as a whole form into individual complex organic bodies. The work gives off an ephemeral, weightless, but also growth-like quality to mimic the feeling of something living. Recent installations have illuminated an emotional charge that results from the realization that, while organisms live and grow they eventually decay and die.