Nature of the human animal

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


Similar to a mad scientist, I combine materials that are not connected in nature. Joining seeds with animal parts or other plants is symbolic of the symbiosis of all beings. Seeds represent growth, death, reproduction, and interdependence. The softness and fragility of much of the work makes the viewer aware of her/his own body and breath. The air we inhale is the exhaled breath of other beings. The frontiers between us and them and wild and civilized are human constructs. I question my relationship with the wilderness. How much am I part of the landscape, and how much do I distance myself from it? Using materials from the local environment is a way to become familiar with the life cycle and the spaces in which I live. I work intuitively, responding to the materials - the way seeds attach to clothing or the bending of willow determines the structure of the finished pieces. The combination of linear structure (taking root and transplants) and plants that seem to grow out of the wall (growths) creates a contrast between what we see as human and natural order. There is an irony to the growths - they are transformed as much as the linear work in that I have brought them into a human-constructed environment and arranged the plants in a pattern influenced by my perception of wilderness. The adornment and sculpture that comprise 'Nature of the Human Animal' are fragile, on the verge of decomposition, but simultaneously carry the potential to renew life through the seeds from which they are constructed and the decomposition that threatens the integrity of the work. Death does not remove life from the world: every end is also a beginning. The physical connection between the viewer and the materials is enhanced by the concept of adornment. We express our beliefs and personalities through what we wear. The viewers can imagine themselves or others wearing the objects, thus seeing the work in an active, sensual, and personal context. My hope is that this will lead to a consideration of the viewer's relationship to the materials and the landscape.




Copyright (c) 2002-2022, LYRASIS. All rights reserved.