"We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are"
I am continually drawn the to the line, the web and connecting strands – precarious states where there is an implied tension between unity and the propensity to unravel. Beauty, fragility, fear - all present and tangible.
My new series is entitled MICRO MUNDI. These arterial wanderings are survival-led. The marks have been made by snails grazing on algae. The claw-like patterns are caused by the rasping action of the snail’s spiky tongue. Year upon year they etch chaotic trails over abandoned surfaces, marking time and leaving us with rambling ‘encryptions’.
Morrie Camhi says ‘We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.’ I see a wonderful weaving of connections in the convoluted linearity.
The patterns in Nature seem to replicate on both micro and cosmic scales. Small etchings on the side of a derelict building can look like entire swathes of earth from the air. Like the fingers of estuaries, the random dendritic markings attest to the presence of a vigorous life form.
The round images encourage the viewer to consider Earth and the implications of our existence. Titles are drawn from mediaeval times when the cartographic metaphor placed Earth in a philosophical and religious setting. Even now, whatever the map being viewed, "perception always intercedes between reality and ourselves". (Ann Marie Barry)
On November 16th, 2009 one of Elaine's images flew to the International Space Station aboard Shuttle Atlantis. Astronaut Leland Melvin had been inspired to extend the connections in the work by photographing it in the window of the space station with the World below. It is a unique view and reinforces the Lovelockian sense that somehow everything is connected. Life on Earth’s surface involves disturbance and response (Margulis) and one could say that this is akin to the artistic process. What a heady mix of Art and Science!
Snails to Space but not at a Snail's Pace..