My family has always encouraged a love of the outdoors, through hiking, camping, sailing, I have learned to appreciate the acts exploring and investigating. Close investigation leads to identification and classification. When examining specimens, very small details can differentiate similar species. This scrutiny has led me to find specimens that have mutations, growths, and parasites, making them more difficult to classify. Discovering these stranger, less common organisms and identifying them is a challenge that I enjoy. This love of the strange led to a passion for the strange and unusual in other aspects of my life, most notably science fiction. I enjoy the escape of imaging distant and completely foreign worlds and creatures. Most of the time, these worlds and creatures are fundamentally flawed, just like our own world and individuals we encounter.
My main influences for this body of work include HR Giger, who designed the set and aliens for the movie, Aliens, Frank R Paul, the father of retro futurist artwork and illustrator for many science fiction magazines, the television shows Star Trek, and Red Dwarf, the work of Frank Herbert, author of the Dune Series, HG Wells’ many novels and Jim Henson, creator of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. When reading I attempt to imagine the various characters, universes and organisms described. This work reflects an amalgamation of characters and species from this genre.
This body of work stems from my lifelong appreciation of science fiction creatures and dystopian worlds, and the impulse to create my own. Through the use of biomechanical forms I hope to reveal a sense of the strange or foreign. By combining these abstract biological forms with a few identifiable objects (metal conduit and cord), I’ve created pieces that seem to be kept alive by some unknown force. The strangeness and unfamiliarity of this work lends it an otherworldly, alien quality. The use of color and texture which are reminiscent of flesh or organs, make them eerily familiar, yet repulsive. Because it is unclear what exactly these objects are, it is difficult to determine what purpose they serve. They may be animals or animal parts held together by metal tubing to create some needed material, they could be plants that are being kept alive in a laboratory-type setting in order to be studied. Each large casting has a relationship with another smaller, similar piece, connected by a cord. The relationship within each object is ambiguous, yet the variation in size and umbilical cord conduit allude to that of a parent/offspring interaction. Perhaps the larger organism is linked to the smaller one to transfer some type of fluid or information. I kept the function or context obscure in order to encourage investigation. When exploring something new it is important and much more interesting to look closely at each detail, in order to identify it. I wanted to cloud that concept and make something which can be closely considered, yet never identified.
While it is clear that these forms were abstracted from biological life, they have been placed together in such a way that they are no longer identifiable as being from this world at all. Each piece in this series presents an unknown object, asking to be classified, but is unrecognizable.