Sacred Species • Exploring the fauna of Morocco and North Africa
My interest in nature has been a life-long passion. Throughout my journey, I have always been attentive to nature: observing plants and animals; working the soil and a garden; exploring new ideas and environments. A constant has been my involvement in the environmental movement: a diverse scientific, social, and political effort which attempts to address issues of ecology and to emphasize green policies. Of major importance to me is the issue of animal welfare and conservation.
Represented in this exhibition are works created in Tetouan which use as their subject fauna, particular to Morocco, to Africa, and to the world. The subjects are species threatened with, or, in danger of, extinction. The Bald Ibis, for example, is one of the Western Palearctic’s most enigmatic and endangered birds with only four breeding colonies. It survives only in Souss-Massa National Park in Morocco.
This series of works on paper represent my long-term interest in exploring three-dimensionality and the surface of paper, augmenting structure with lacquer and linen. The bas-relief technique refers to ancient stone carving traditions. My focus has been to explore the boundaries of surface, technique and abstraction. I am always open to cross-cultural influence, whether from the colors used by the artisans of Tetouan, or, from the abstracted elements of modern Japanese print-making.
The process of paper-making is, in itself, an expressive but structured technique which enables the control of medium from beginning to end. It also allows me to literally create “something” from “nothing”. The raw material for the paper is recycled cotton, so, the substance and the structure of the bas-relief is re-purposed and up-cycled. Adding precious metal to some of the pieces completes the transformation from “trash” to “treasure”.