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.