Nature is generative. Its sole mission is replication. To human eyes, nature’s various acts of propagation often produce beauty, like the huge pink Angel Trumpet flower, the dainty, delicate petals of the Autumn crocus, or the dramatic chevron markings of the King Cobra snake. Yet each of these sources of beauty can be fatal to their human admirers. And in another paradox, what is harmful in nature can also heal: the Angel’s Trumpet contains compounds that can reduce the effects of arthritis and asthma; the crocus corm is harvested to treat gout and familial Mediterranean fever; the cobra’s venom can produce a painkiller twenty times as powerful as morphine. Nature itself has no intentions where humans are concerned, neither benign nor malicious. Nature’s generative drive is amoral.
My work considers the full range of intersections of nature with human health and illness. With a particular interest in the history of medicine, I research what is currently known about the bases of health and disease, as well as scientific predictions about the future, as our changing climate brings humans and nature into contact in ways unknown in our history.
My sculptural installations are informed by the way human health and nature intersect at the micro level. Without scientific training, I am powerless to assess the medical implications of what I see under the microscope as I meticulously record the minuscule shifts of biological and physical fortunes within our cells as digital images and drawings. I coax these images into dimensional shapes, gathering them into unsystematic clusters that form new organisms whose consequences for human health, like so much in nature, remains to be discovered.