Years ago, while flying back to Kenya, I remember peering out the little window of the plane to the landscape below. The sun was starting to come up over the horizon and the rising sun was pushing long shadows across the savannah below. A startled herd of wild beasts had began to scatter into an expanding arc. Every so often they would rhythmically regroup, as the instinctive need for survival and safety kicked in.
The animals carried on with oblivious grace, but soon began to awkwardly manoeuvre their way around a grid of wire fences, tripping over each other in the process. What moments ago had seemed so fluid and organic, suddenly became a clumsy confrontation between nature and the man-made.
The ongoing relationship between nature and human construction manifests in a series of frictional encounters, which vary from volatile to imperceptibly calm. It is a relationship that at times identifies how nature relentlessly adjusts and adapts within the environment, pushing into new stages of evolution.
The examples are all around; a natural landscape divided into grids and lines, building blocks and tarmacked arteries; a plant, as it grows between the bricks on a path; wild animals using their ancient behavior to negotiate a brand new habitat; even our very own inherent traits weave their way into all the features of modern society.
Part observation, part memory; part dream, part fantasy; part structure, part free flowing; this artwork is inspired by that tug-of-war that goes on between nature and the manufactured world. Geometric patterns, organic shapes and collage merge into textured compositions that, like a chess board, reflect a tense harmony as each side quietly contemplates their next move.
The work is inspired predominantly by Eastern Africa; from the landscape, to the traditional dress and adornment of native tribes.
The buttons and beads representing symbols of life, organisms and the circle of dependency. They also represent choice. The kind of choice that exists with buttons as on clothing that can be opened or closed depending on varying levels of trust, morality, protection and intimacy.
The lines representing the paths and routes of life. Both literal and figurative, our paths go in all directions; from meandering, to going straight ahead.
The blocks representing the manufactured and sectioned off constructed world that is always somehow intertwined with everything else.
Whether directly or not, we’re all a part of these encounters. Depending on our situation, we'll pick who to support and how. Momentarily changing the variables as the competition to survive and thrive wages on.