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ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Artist Statement

In setting a theme for a body of work I look into how I am seeing the state of the world and how we relate to it through both attachment and disregard. International politics and the environment play a pivotal role in subject matter as much as the pure joy of colour. This passion for colour, my sense of humour and quirkiness drive my style of art. Playing in a variety of mediums gives me the freedom to follow my heart to best convey my meaning.

About My Work

As Covid 19 plagues our survival in an ongoing cycle uniting and dividing populations around the globe as time passes, the vulnerability we face is no less dissimilar to the plight of the oceans’ creatures as they face a bleak environmental future. Evaluating this idea gave rise to a scenario of sea polyps and corals which appear to look in many cases like plants but are in fact of the Kingdom Animalia as we are. Growing singularly yet living like us: Alone and Together. Their uniqueness and incredible beauty are reminiscent of the gloriousness of the flowers and plants we indulge in for scent and design and colour and form. My own garden is a great space to be mindful and contemplative within and is my absolute in between place before I start on any artwork. I love to get my hands in the dirt and feel the earth. As for my job I work with in the fashion business and often find inspiration from the colour and design and tactile nature that is found in materials. I also take any opportunity to reuse and upcycle any materials of any nature that work to tell my story. The first part of this work began with 8 canvases of 60 x 20 that I purchased prior to lockdown and then spent hours watching BBC DVDs of our natural world. These formed a walled garden so to speak. From them I was inspired to further develop the idea into a group of freestanding sea polyps and corals. Some of them represent polyps on the sea floor. Others are imaginary and convey the possibility of future mutated animals as they undergo the stress of living within an environment that is becoming too acid and impacted by disasters, nuclear fallout, and pollution. Only time will tell whether they will become more vulnerable and bleach to death or find some means to evolve into new organisms. Creating my own pigment from the soot of my fireplace evoked for me a comparison of the state of our atmosphere to the state of our choked and clogged lungs as our lifestyle of mass production, consumerism, fossil fuel consumption, and more foul our environment, as well the environments of others.

Sea polyps inhale our carbon dioxide emissions and release them as oxygen, providing up to 25% of our Earth’s requirements. Realizing that we exhale co2 to breathe oxygen and the sea polyps inhale our waste to provide us with the air we breathe, as well as the other gardens on Earth — like the swathes of forests and jungles whose worlds too are fraught — was an enchanting discovery.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see this in print, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

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