My work has been profoundly informed by my participation as artist on scientific expeditions to remote and biologically diverse ecosystems of the Amazon. I have continually explored the interfaces of art, science, nature and conservation in many series of artworks in diverse mediums including glass, bronze and ceramic in the sculptural realm as well as works on paper.
Time spent in the living libraries of Latin American jungles, amidst various indigenous peoples has profoundly influenced my art making. Participation on scientific expeditions has allowed access to remote and pristine areas where people still live in direct contact with nature. Numerous onsite sketches of the botanical exuberance in rainforested areas becomes an internal deposit of plant anatomy, leaf, stamen, stem, seed, blossom and thorn, creating an inherent plant intelligence that infuses my work.
My art often reveals little known aspects of nature such as soil microorganisms, the diversity of seeds, fungi, and plants. Collaborations with scientists have allowed me to understand and internalize cutting edge science happening out in the field and communicate these concepts to the public through my art. I have participated as the artist on major scientific expeditions such as the AquaRAP (Rapid Assessment Program) Expedition sponsored by Conservation International and the Field Museum. We traveled the Rio Pastaza in the Peruvian Amazon finding 44 new species of fish and many new plants. A subsequent expedition in another remote area of Peru entailed hunting for rare orchids with Botanical Research Institute of Texas and their Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program. These watershed experiences all inspired large, diverse bodies of work.
A recent Arts Residency at a forest reserve and biological station in Peru run by nonprofit Project Amazonas directly inspired the large ceramic installations, "Seed Rain : Seed Bank" and "Earth Stars :Above and Below" in my recent solo museum exhibit "Soil Seed and Sprouts :Tropical and Temperate" at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. I found amazing seeds hiking the forested trails and even Earth Star fungi.
Through my artwork I intend to visually engage the viewer and communicate the importance of human relationships and interaction with the biological wealth that delights, surrounds and sustains us. I hope to integrate the disciplines of art, science, natural history and conservation into a seamless visual experience that can affect a subtle shift in perception. I also aim to ignite action both to help conserve our imperiled planet and to encourage people to reap the benefits nature offers us.