Growing up in Daytona Beach, besides being labeled as a party town, people really respected the environment they inhabited. There was a real conscious effort by all my friends growing up to do beach clean ups, also in the 90’s there was a rise in more communication avenues, more knowledge how about green energy and recycling efforts were being made. The natural world has always enticed me ever since I can remember, especially when I was in high school. I was in Future Farmers of America for four years and took every science class possible. With marine biology at the top of my list and botany a close second, subsequently I became quite respectful of the earth and its atmosphere. Currently, my heart is in designing visual art that brings attention to the growing critical conditions of earths depleting resources. Water is the subject I encounter and research the most, and most conveyed throughout my sculptures and installations.
One of my goals this year was to go Europe and travel to one of the original places where the birth of art took prominence in the 18th and 19th centuries. Being an avid Romanticist myself, I truly have love for the environment that surrounds me like the Parisians. By receiving this particular research grant I was able to construct another project geared towards my love art and the natural world. Currently I am researching alternative forms of energy and energy conservation. While I was living in Paris I cataloged all forms that the French used as alternative services and reductions in contrast to United States of America. My data included the use of solar power on all new buildings in the making, and gardens on roofs to cool down the inside structures. The Parisians do not use Air condition, walk most places, and absolutely do not gorge on menial things like take out boxes or cups that Americans are so fond of. “The U.S. consumes 30 percent of the world’s resources despite making up only 5 percent of the world’s population. It also produces 30 percent of the world’s waste.” Parisians only use what is needed and find a way to reuse almost anything. They take pride in their environment and live modestly, with respect for the natural world.
The most inspiring to me was a trip to one of my favorite topics in art museums, the combination of art and science. The ESP foundation, a museum of art devoted to research in science. Located in the city of Paris, the exhibit was called “Carbon 12” and encompassed information about the growing possibilities of the molecule of carbon and its use in scientific studies. Also, the exhibit contained other information about the depleting rainforests, and unique phosphorous glow in plankton. One of the most prominent artists of France had a piece within this show as well. His name is He He. He is a visual artist that uses motion, audio, and the topic of global warming to produce a piece of work that brilliantly portrays the intensity and severity of emissions that will affect our world’s atmosphere. He He became an instant inspiration for me and for where I want to be in the future with my art work.
My art encompasses the beauty of the very thing that we humans are depleting. This sculpture that will be installed in the 2nd floor of the library will be dedicated to France and their respect for the circle of life. With regards to France I chose to make an Art Nouveau chandelier which contains recycled materials and led lights. Art Nouveau is an era in Paris where art was breaking off from the traditional style to enhance organic design through wood, metal, and stained glass. Most Art Nouveau was used for decoration and mimicked the natural world. In my particular piece the raindrops hitting the growing leaf are metaphors for the continuation of green life. The Flower represents the sun and the fact that energy from the sun is important to keep our natural world flowing. My art deals with the very beauty that we are taking advantage of, and hope that by using recycled materials it will help explain the need to conserve and reduce waste.