The theme of nature has become an increasingly loaded subject matter for artists. The 19th Century preoccupation with the “wonders of nature” has given way to the 21st Century’s anxiety of nature’s fragility and an uncertainty of what is “natural” in an age of cloning and genetic engineering. The desire for sublime experiences of splendor and awe is still with us, although the tradition of spiritual wonder as seen through the lens of nature appears to be an exhausted model. The shift from “organic” to “synthetic” nature is a defining factor of our age. This longing for authentic experience coupled with the knowledge that an Arcadian vision is forever in the past is the primary theme of my work.
The work is meant to express and reflect on our culture’s seemingly paradoxical wish to believe simultaneously in alchemy and science. Indeed, in an era of mind-boggling technological advances, many of us find it increasingly difficult to distinguish between the two. In a world where it is possible to make plastic from maize, and human proteins have been produced in genetically modified rubber plants, the “real” appears to be outstripping the fanciful in sheer implausibility. At once whimsical and monstrous, my work is a salutation to the resourcefulness of living beings and my own delight in playing the role of artist/god in creating new things at which to marvel. My subject is the instability of life, its changeability in a widening world, the purpose being to inspire a fresh but not always entirely comforting sense of possibility and wonderment.