Along the coastlines of the world, a great variety of shells can be found. Seashells are made by the animals that live inside them and all shells grow steadily outward. Shells are among the most remarkable designs found in nature. Examples are the chambered nautilus, the sundial shell, and the triton shell. Shells are usually perceived as feminine; a symbol of birth, good fortune, and resurrection. Bivalved molluscs represent the womb and fertility.
Symbolisms of life, fertility, luck, travel, love.
Maria Sibylla Merian
This is a work in progress.
Concept: the link between humans and nature.
I am always learning new things about nature. Whilst making spore prints with mushrooms, I felt that they were similar to our fingerprints. Each spore print is unique, just like our fingerprints.
As I thought about this more, I discovered further similarities. Like that of tree rings and otoliths (the inner ear bones of fish). Each ring in a tree stump represents a year of that trees life; which is the same with rings in a otolith:
I wanted to create something that showed these similarities, and so framed examples. If I were to place this into a gallery setting I would provide information on what each example is. It would be like a museum/science exhibition, educational as well as visually pleasing. I want to reveal to others the connections that happen in my mind when I am learning about nature and how closely our lives are intwined.
Link to watch the film:
Whilst on some nature outings, I wanted to experiment with some filming.
Nature is very relaxing and comforting for me, and it is very therapeutic. I wanted to try and convey this through the medium of film, so I took out a camera with HD video from the stores.
I didn’t have a strong plan in mind, but just wanted to get out and see what caught my eye, as I often do with my photography.
Upon walking through the forest, it was a very windy day and when I looked up I noticed how much the trees were swaying above.
I feel that trees to us are such strong, sturdy objects. but in fact, they are very fragile; as shown by the amount that were blown over recently during storm Arwen, and other storms alike. I see a connection with trees and fungi in that they too have many different sides: strong, delicate, deadly, beautiful.
I found a small clearing amongst the trees, and placed the camera upside down whilst it was recording like this:
I then walked away and left it to record the trees swaying above.
I later removed the existing sound of the wind, as I found it too stressful and intense. I decided to replace it with birdsong that I recorded within the forest and surrounding areas using a recording device. I removed the background noise, to enhance the calming effect or silence interspersed with soft birdsong. I wanted to create a relaxing moment, that I envision will be in place in a busy gallery environment. As nature is my peaceful escape, I wanted to convey this through my video to the audience
Update to artists of interest:
Phoebe Cummings – clay sculpture. Works with clay to make lifelike natural displays, flowers, leaves, branches, moss. Each sculpture is dismantled with water and the clay is re-used again in the next work. I love this idea of renewal and using natural products; it links to her themes and gives an encompassing natural sense to her practice.
Amanda Cobbett – textile artists. Creates intricate and realistic versions of natural paraphernalia using embroidery. She says that we need to pay attention to the little things as much as the big, as when they are gone how will we ever know that they were there?
Diemut Strebe, an artist who’s worked at MIT since 2010, recently in an MIT residency program, has a lot to say about the United States’ failure to contain or even meaningfully slow down the coronavirus pandemic.
But she decided to let a single-celled organism called Physarum polycephalum, better known as slime mold, do the talking. In a new project titled “HYDRA,” Strebe and scientist collaborators at the Santa Fe Institute and Australia’s Macquarie University plopped blobs of slime mold onto a map of the USA — one on each of the first ten counties to hit 1,000 cases of COVID-19 per day. They allowed the slime mold to grow, extending its unsettling tendrils outward, in a biological mirror of how the coronavirus spread across the country.