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Formation of a Shell #3
2009 / Graphite and Ink on Paper / 69 x 50 inches



Formation and Flux Series

I began this series with the intention of exploring nature's unconscious and instinctive ability to form and change over time. Attempting to expose the evolutionary process of the structure of a seashell has led me on a fascinating journey. What is the smallest starting point for a shell's formation? What guides the twists and turns that produce its spiraling shape and soft features? What processes is it subject to while undergoing such dramatic build-ups? Depicting various stages of development in time and space, while combining traditional and non-traditional drawing materials has allowed me to examine these questions and, in the process, represent the sublime characteristics I encountered.

What started as an investigation of seashells has led to further studies of the natural world, including both flora and fauna. Relating these forms and researching their qualities has provided additional evidence of certain commonalities in nature that suggest some master plan.

The techniques I use to create my work mimic my internal questions about the concepts of formation, evolution, and the passing of time. I usually begin these works with representational sketches of the object -- a practice long held in history for a deeper understanding of a subject. I then recreate an abstracted image from these drawings in my studio. In the large ink and graphite drawings, vigorous mark making captures the energy of creation. The rendering of transparency accelerates the slow process of growth into one moment in time. I address these ideas more directly in the drawings on Duralar, a translucent, archival type of mylar. The process of layering several sheets of Duralar and altering the surfaces with drawing, painting, cutting, and collage, becomes a metaphor for the development and transformation of a shell, plant, or animal.

The intersection of scientific knowledge, anatomical studies, and creative practices has brought forth the series Formation and Flux. Through this group of images I hope viewers will query their surroundings, themselves, and the invisible forces of life while simultaneously enjoying the tangible elements of the surface techniques in the work.