Land Portraits – Nature Vivante Series
Lately, I have been thinking about my artworks as land portraits, or nature vivante.
When artists did bring attention to plants in paintings, it has usually been as “nature morte”. I make “Nature Vivante” land portraits. Land portraits are unlike landscapes in that they bring focus to vibrant living details within the sentient land.
Since we began making art, we have made portraits of those who were important to us. Portraiture is a great example of how western culture has forgotten how to co-exist with the natural world. When I observe portraiture throughout western history, I can see that we have moved from capturing images of what we cared about in the land, (such as cave painting of hunts), to spirits we worshiped that were separate from the lands (such as gods, political figures and movie stars). We make portraits of our families, and ourselves, but rarely do we acknowledge that we are part of a bigger sentient Eco-system.
The more I explore the nature around me, and delve deeper in the hidden language of plants, the more I realize that I belong to their land. They are the protagonist of a hidden life that is rich with spirit and personality. Their breath and voice are so subtle that they remain silent to those who do not know how to listen. Their power remains invisible, yet it alters all life that rely on them. They are powerful agent of hidden change, without which we will die. They are food, medicine, family, they are home. Yet, we take them for granted and forget to nurture them.
I am trying to capture the beauty and essence of individual plants. I want to bring our awareness to the incredible beauty of these natural misunderstood creatures, by celebrating them. I hope you enjoy the results of this exploration.
I am a big fan of Hilma af Klint. For this series, I used a similar method. She created experimental automatic drawing as early as 1896. Like her, I use photoshop filters in specific sequences to make invisible forces of the images. I am interested in spirits, so I explore the worlds of religions, atoms, the senses and plants.