This is the overarching title for a series of compositions and narratives drawn from dreams that have become the catalyst for meditations on culturally and ecologically significant microcosms and how different forms of life might coexist under the impact of extreme ecological and climatic change.
Title of work, year etc
Zoe Amor at MARS gallery 5 December – 20 December 2012
In my work I arrange and present natural forms, such as the tree or the honey – bee, and posit them as an analogy for life itself. Imbued with mythic qualities, they generate narratives about life and death and the interplay between humanity and the natural world.
The exhibition of sculptures and reliefs in bronze, aluminum and glass entitled Life on Earth – Cross Pollination, has the bee featuring prominently as a testimony to the ingenuity, grace and inherently beautiful structures present in the natural world, structures that we have been observing and interacting with for thousands of years.
The Queen emerges from her cell recalls the fact that bees have changed little since the Jurassic period (some 100 million years) and have been a source of beeswax, honey and wonder in many cultures since ancient times. As a wild creature, bees have adapted to the predominance of humans in the world but are increasingly under threat from intensive mono -culture farming practices, genetic modification, and transportation for a global market. CCD or Colony Collapse Disorder is just one of the devastating outcomes of all this activity which makes me wonder; if we want to preserve the pollinators of over one third of the world’s fresh food, how will we adapt our lives to protect theirs?
This is the crux of the exhibition, for at the core of my work is a desire to better understand and remember the beneficial connections that exist between humans and other life forms, in the hope that it will (re) generate a deeper appreciation and respect for the natural world.
In the bronze maquette the Trees of Delphi the blossoms on the ancient branches are a symbol of hope and consciousness of the profound wisdom and revelations from Nature, the source of all life.
In the first Life On Earth series, an elliptical form in bronze (Life) was inscribed with concentric circles radiating out from a single blue orb of glass, giving the impression of an omnipotent eye or something crowning in the act of birth. Abstract works such as these and the more figurative Red Box Bush are compositions that consider the negative and positive spaces equally and make full use of the strong qualities of bronze as a medium.
A private commission in Fitzroy last year yielded six major works in bronze, glass and aluminum, such as Deer Heart, Ladder, and Wall Piece with Blue glass. The process of composing unique pieces for a very modern home engaged all of my abilities; from applying colour theory and spacial dynamics, to installing huge bronze wall pieces five metres off the ground in a glass and brick void!
The sculpture I am creating for the McClelland Sculpture Survey & Award 2012 is entitled Memorial to all that is Good in this World and is my tribute to Nature – the landscape, plants, animals, minerals, and the forces that arrange and adapt all of these elements for life on earth. In this work, the tree is inscribed with delicate gold renderings as symbolic memories of those that once existed in a wild landscape abundant with flowers, bees and animals, each with their own unique relationship to one another.
Many of the thoughts behind my work are summed up beautifully by Sasha Grishin, writing about the subtle commentary of artist John Wolsley on the extinction of species, people and cultures. He writes:
“…if we abandon the anthropocentric understanding of the world, that somehow the natural environment has been specifically designed for the benefit of humankind, and adopt a more holistic attitude, that humankind is not privileged over the rest of the world and that animals, plants, rivers, rocks and mountains are all part of the single living organism of this planet, then an ethical dilemma arises as to what happens when one species threatens the macro-environment and consequently starts to affect the existence of many of the other systems on earth.” John Wolsley Land marks II Craftsman House, pg 165, 2006.
Life on Earth – Cross Pollination is my second solo exhibition at MARS gallery and represents a dedicated and welcome return to the Melbourne art scene after maternal commitments and the facilitation of various art projects including a major private commission in Melbourne and engagement in the Artist in Schools initiative in Central Victoria. The exhibition runs from 5 December – 20 December 2012 while the McClelland Sculpture Survey & Award 2012 opens on 18 November and goes until the 14th July 2013.