Artist Statement

Informed by memory, botany, ecology and the Anthropocene, my practice involves constructs formed through the mediums of drawing, installation and video.

 

Drawing Breath (2012) – an on-going series, attempts through the mediums of watercolor and sculpture, to assert nature as the super form that it is. The works are elaborated through fictional narratives as well as explorations of anthropomorphism through the filters of literature, botany, entomology and human social constructs, suggesting a critique of the human condition. The works refer to a reverse anthropomorphism, wherein a metamorphosis occurs melding the most enduring physical form of humans and animals (bone) with insects and vegetal matter; thereby creating cohesive ‘ultra-forms’ that progressively build themselves into dark reflections of a nature that retaliates against subjugation.

 

The protagonists within these Kafka-esque situations are generally a mutated form of insect or plant whereas the antagonist almost always retains human form, suggesting that the inflated belief that humans have of supremacy over every other form of life, prevents them from stepping outside of themselves in order to fully grasp the actual condition and the urgency of action within our current ecologies.

 

Through my practice, I strive to examine the fetishization of the currencies upon which our economic system is built, its impact on our habitat and how this transforms the very idea of nature in our psyche. My preoccupations with botany and edaphology are salient to my work and with this in mind, I’m keen to extrapolate on more traditional lines of inquiry by focusing a part of my research on the biological ideas of “neophyte”, “native” and “naturalization” – which draw obvious parallels with current geopolitical and bio-political circumstances – the documentation, organization and dissemination of this information within the rigid didactics of natural history institutions and how these ideas apply to what we refer to as “wilderness” with a particular consideration to weeds over cultivated horticultural and ornamental species. Simply because the former represent resistance and serve as reminders to man of his ineptitude at completely controlling nature.

 

These investigations become apparent in Ecologies of Absence (2016), a series that addresses ecological urgencies using the framework of the commodification of nature and critical global concerns such as our impact on the environment through the homogenization of nature and eco-colonialism; while attempting to situate the contemporary variants of the Migrant and the definition of Home.

The works investigate the exploitation of the finite resources of this planet, the attribution of an economic value to these resources, a desensitizing, passive aggressive practice that keeps us several times removed from nature and its intrinsic values. The works reflect the perfection of an Anthropocene artifice that portrays the illusion of a fine balance between absence and presence, nature and commodification.

 

Finally, I attempt to create a body of work that actively articulates the idea of environmental justice over sustainable development (which implies the rehabilitation of the environment for the purpose of profit); with an aim to subvert or disarm the false binaries that we have been conditioned to and that inherently questions the human considerations toward nature. Work that emphasizes life, death, the marginalized, the unnoticed, the forgotten, the visible and the hidden; thereby redefining nature as the center stage of our existence.

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