We are in the midst of a pivotal and exciting chance to heal the rift separating humans and nature. In the words of environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy, “We often forget that we are nature. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.”
Enter wanton creativity, blooming color, and pure wonder to broaden awareness and alleviate such disconnection from ourselves. My artistic expressions often dig beyond realistic depictions, generating portals that expose the fluidity of order and chaos intrinsic to all that is alive. I am enraptured by the marvel of how a simple intervention of color can revitalize entire neighborhoods by renewing interest in habitual surroundings. Through arranging and rearranging reflected light, my painting practice portrays a palpable yearning to reembody an incorporated unity with nature, emphasizing inclusive links between seemingly disparate realms such as science and art, cosmos, and microcosmos, animate and inanimate, human and wild.
I have always played at the intersection of art and science, each practice encompassing and amplifying the other. Having a background in biochemistry and environmental research, visualizations of crystal chemistry, bubbling biology or fractal geometric patterns often saturate my mind – ideas that incite me to transform paper with ink, or canvas with paint. But the longer I paint, the more I realize I do not have one foot in each camp; they are one and the same. The aim of my work is to draw upon a physiological link between saturated, stimulating colors, kinetic synesthesia, and organic patterns that jolt the viewer into a moment parallel to normal time; a moment to be flooded with awe for the world we inhabit. Even one brush with such a captivating connection to wonder has the transformative potential to realign human values.
It is my heartfelt passion to intertwine artistic practice with design that values and reconnects us with the biological world. From a young age, growing up exploring a local river preserve with all of it’s vaulting frogs and indigo herons, radiant foliage dripping lichen and teeming with assembled biological denizens, I could not align with the rigid dichotomy cast between civilized versus “wild” life. One can find as much sentience in Nature as in humans, but we seem to have forgotten to value it.
I do not just lift a brush to wiggle pigment across a surface; I paint to express the psychedelic, surrealist astonishment with which I witness and revere this biosphere, in the fervent belief that such appreciation is infectious.
By harnessing the element of surprise and overturning subconscious assumptions, art of every medium exponentially expands what is possible for human consciousness. Every gallery show, public sculpture project, or city mural I have created or collaborated on teaches me anew the power art has to carve out the space for simultaneous paradox and overlapping coexistence. Sharing expression in the language of color, imagery, and symbolic narrative reaches corners of the psyche where words and structured analysis become illegible on their own. An ecosystem’s intermingling edges are where life is always most fertile, the marshlands of possibility where land meets water. My work cultivates the zones where polarity is encouraged to mix and entangle, transforming empirical observation and emotive rendering in combination that catalyzes amplified curiosity and gratitude for the natural world.
Immersion in the design and beauty inherent in biology drives my creative process and helps me rediscover our connection to all life forms. Such realignment is a life-altering experience for both creator and observer, one that lies on the other side of the door opened by imaginative art. I aim to share this revelatory experience with all who are open to it. Creativity is inextricably tied to everything we are, and everything we can value as human organisms; it is our chance to reshape human presence on Earth.
“Bloom” Acrylic on canvas 36″x48″ 2020.
Issue 13: content warning: PRIDE