Drifters 1

 

Drifters I, 17 x 17 inches, oil on wood panel, 2012, by Leah Wilson

Drifters I, 17 x 17 inches, oil on wood panel, 2012, by Leah Wilson

Artist statement — Leah Wilson.

My paintings are created in the intersections of science, philosophy and art. Years ago, I created paintings in response to the natural river environment — the effect of light, movement and rhythms of its elements. The elements, especially water, provide a framework, a reference to return to in the decision making process. In the words of author Tom Robbins, water is “always in motion, ever-flowing (whether at steam rate or glacial speed), rhythmic, dynamic, ubiquitous, changing and working its changes, a mathematics turned wrongside out, a philosophy in reverse.” It provides a perfect stage for a fleeting event to occur and travel on.

With these paintings, I return to water, but this time, rather than looking at patterns created by river currents, I am using Angelicque White’s images of phytoplankton, marine cyanobacteria, as a starting point and anchor.

I chose images for their simplicity and ambiguity. They are expansive images, opening possibilities of meaning beyond the realm of the sea.

Because of the ambiguity within the images, I have created a set of parameters to which each painting must adhere:

The color palette I work with is from images taken from light microscopy.

One scientific element must be referenced within the painting, even if it becomes obscured throughout the painting process. A painting may include an arc of a petri dish; another, marks of a ruler.

Depth and movement must be included within the ‘perfect stage for a fleeting event to occur and travel on.’

Eugene, Oregon, 2012

For other works submitted to the Art of Plankton show, see Forms from the Sea.

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