A collaboration with photographer Sarah Deragon. Shot in Marx Meadow, located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, in the spring of 2014. Conceived of as an introduction to "Heads", my first solo exhibit of large scale pieces at Rare Device in May 2014. I use this type of photo of myself frequently, usually shot by my son or daughter, to mark the expressiveness of each large scale flower before exhibiting it. They have become a sort of "meme" around the globe, with many other flower makers following suit. Find a collection of these types of photographs here.
"The preternatural (from the Latin præter and naturae) is that which appears outside or beyond the normal and natural. In theology, the term preternatural is often used to distinguish marvels or deceptive trickery, often attributed to witchcraft or demons, from the divine and sacred power of the genuinely supernatural. Upon the arrival of early modern science, the concept of the preternatural was used to refer to abnormalities and strange phenomena that seemed to transgress the working laws of nature, but which were not associated with magic or witchcraft. The terms preternatural and supernatural originally acquired distinct definitions within the ancient religious movement of Gnosticism, but have been since incorrectly equated as interchangeable phrases.
Pre-12th Century Gnostics distinguished between the natural, the preternatural, and the supernatural. Natural describes all that belongs to the material world and adheres to strict physical and scientific laws. Preternatural is the action that goes beyond the structure of the nature of the material universe. Supernatural is the action that goes beyond any created nature, belonging only to the divine.
The photographic and sculptural work in this exhibition falls within the preternatural, occupying space and time suspended between the mundane and the miraculous. Depicting and embodying flora, fauna, and landscape that appear to exist beyond the natural, the exhibition also comments on a number of pressing issues of our time, from global warming and rising sea levels, to genetic mutation and bioengineering, to survival and adaptation."
Exhibit photography courtesy of Scott Chernis.
Influenced by my East Coast upbringing and appreciation of botany, I invited both emerging and well-known artists from the U.S., Canada and abroad in to study ideas of botanical life forms in their wintery states of hardening, dormancy and decay. The show hung in January 2015 at Rare Device in San Francisco, and featured ten artists working in a variety of styles and mediums, including collage, pen and ink, textiles, linoleum block printing, ceramics, and more.
Promotional postcard image from Danielle Krysa's "Winter Was Hard on Rose".
A sampling of my small scale works.
For me, there are few more expressive or forgiving pursuits in the art of paper flower making than to create dead, dying, decaying, wilting, or deformed flowers. The movement in the collapsing head of a wilting specimen eclipses the sometimes stagnant rhythm of the face of a fresher flower. There is much left to discover here, with a world of subject matter and environmental issues to study, from simple rot to abnormal conditions like fasciation, phyllody and petalody, to the effects of our ever-changing environment on plant life.
These are some of my favorite specimens to create, in both small and large scales. I am looking to build a new body of work to exhibit in 2018 that will partially focus on dead paper flowers and the reasons why they are "dead".
Nature Constructed was a public project and exhibition of my work in the Kimball Education Gallery at the de Young Museum for the month of May 2016. I was available to speak with gallery visitors each day about my work and theirs, and invited them to assist me in creating a giant, rotting ranunculus.
Exhibit photos by Randy Dodson, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
I offer instruction, demonstrations and workshops in the Bay Area and beyond. Currently the best way to stay up-to-date on my offerings is to watch for announcements on my Instagram, or check the schedules at Handcraft Studio School, SF Botanical Garden and Filoli where I will be teaching throughout the spring of 2017. In the future I will again provide links to classes here as well.
Read more about it HERE.
Please refer to my artist CV for the most current list of press and articles.
Vogue Magazine, May 2016 Met Gala Issue (top)
O, The Oprah Magazine, April 2016
Luxe. Interiors + Design, Sept./Oct. 2016
In late 2014, UK-based Simone Webb and I collaborated on a series of four images, using photographs of my large scale work taken at different angles.
Although working in different mediums, different scales and different countries, Simone and I have one element in common; our subject matter. Flora are at the center of both of our works, inevitably forging an exploration into the difference in scale and mediums. In these pieces, Simone strayed away from her practice of exploring the transitionary states that occur in nature to embrace the delicate and still beauty of my giant, intricate paper flowers. By scaling these large blooms back down to a size manageable on the printed page, Simone was able to capture them in a way their original three-dimensional, oversized state never would have allowed. We worked together to find the tension and balance in these compositions, which were executed by Simone in her UK studio.
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