My diet is primarily plant based and my mind is completely plant biased…especially when it comes to my artistic inspiration.
In an earlier post I “announced” our self-imposed design category for Beyond Violet as “industrial organic.” What does that mean? It’s open for interpretation of course, but it’s absolutely what you get when you collide BB and JF to make a sculpture. I relate much in life to a good solid rendering of a Venn diagram, it’s kind of how I determine if something feels “right”. You know…should I do this? Can I envision it in a Venn? If the answer is yes, I’m usually game. I’m a sucker for the magic that happens in the intersection of parts/influences that come together.
Before my hands touched ink, metal, glass, concrete, clay, paper…they touched the earth. As a kid I was a digger, planter and a trekker and in the adult incarnation of myself I have not strayed much beyond this descriptive. Some kids had pet goldfish, I had pet plants and a full set of mini gardening tools by the time I was 5 thanks to my Nana.
I can say without hesitation that the reason I create art is a force of nature. Mother Nature is my instigator. Offering an endless expanse of texture, shape, colour, infrastructure and awe — it repeatedly stops me in my tracks —every single day. Art is my gateway to communicate the intricacies, phenomenons and transformations that exist in the natural environment — an infinite source of inspiration.
For “Beyond Violet” I chose to get my Medusa on to interpret the art of pollination. I’ve spent the last months creating a narrative cast in concrete to be integrated into our steel and aluminum sculpture. BB and I have a strong affinity for these materials together in sculptural form, combining them was our vision from day 1 for the sculpture.
Site specific, subject specific art — nothing that I love more. And for this sculpture, I’ve loved every minute of being consumed by this framework. Essentially its given me free license to become even more of a nerd about the environment’s organic canvas —peering deeper into the botany of plants…the anatomy & behavior of pollinators…and aim to capture my awe of it all – by way of art.
One of the most challenging aspects was narrowing down the expanse of options (both plants and pollinator) and then determining how to recreate and configure these elements in concrete and attach them to the sculpture. There were some rather lengthy days of analysis paralysis. Those are frustrating ones…but always lead to a breakthrough at some juncture. And eventually I was able to narrow down a selection of plants and pollinator interpretations that became Beyond Violet’s cast of characters… all shaped, textured, configured by forces of nature with a healthy dose of artistic interpretation of course.
Bee Balm (Monarda) is a pollinator superstar attracting bees, butterflies and because of the flowers tubular structure also hummingbirds. With a high quotient of showstopper blooms…it’s a treat for all living things. Nectar for pollinators, tea for people. Borage is like a bee magnet, beautiful to look at…seeds itself with wild abandonment (so if you are a control freak gardener probably not for you but I encourage you to let your inner borage run free). I heart borage and I like to run free.
Milkweed, a constant source of entertainment. It’s like an insect parade. Something is always evolving on it… Monarch butterflies feed exclusively on milkweed. Wouldn’t you?
To that end I must ask you…
Have you hugged a pollinator today?! Arms open wide people, come on…do it.