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HUMAN NATURE

MORTON ARBORETUM EXHIBITION
CHICAGO, IL, 2021 - 2023
The Human Nature exhibit includes 5 sculptures commissioned by The Morton Arboretum:


The pieces were made from steel, FGRC (fibre glass reinforced concrete), fiberglass, wood, and natural fibers.

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HALLOW

An invitation to openness, Hallow is a monument to transformation. It asks that the viewer enter its form and, in doing so, step into a contemplative interiority, that we might reflect on both our inner nature and that of the natural world. Preferring to leave the interpretation of the work open-ended, Popper offers questions rather than answers: “How is your spirit affected by nature? Ask yourself: What do you feel? How does this connect you with your feelings about nature?”

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UMI

The world, as conceived by environmental scientist John Lovelock, is a vast entanglement of living things that collectively define and maintain the conditions conducive to life. To this holistic ideal of the earth as a self-regulating organism, Lovelock gave the name Gaia, borrowed from Greek mythology. Born from the primordial chaos, Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life, the ur-goddess by whom the earth was shaped and populated. Terra Mater in Latin; Mother Earth in our own words.

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HEARTWOOD

Recalling the inner rings at the centre of a tree trunk, Heartwood offers a lyrical meditation on the interconnectedness of humans and nature. While the work’s image might first appear fractured – with the bust of a woman cleaved in two – on closer looking, a resonant parallel becomes apparent. The heartwood of a tree marks its earliest growth and becomes, with the accumulation of annual ring, the plant’s spine; the wood dense and resistant to decay. 

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SENTIENT

With eyes closed in a mediative calm, Sentient invites a return to stillness. She is a figure sensitive in perception and feeling, a being attuned to the oneness of humans and nature. Surrounding her form, her likeness echoes; her face repeated in countless fractured parts. Such repetitions offer a metaphor for the constant noise of digital media and its fragmenting, dislocating effects on the self. 

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MYCELIA

Named for the filigreed, thread-like fungus, Mycelia extends reflections on the interconnectedness of humans and the natural world.

Mushrooms offer themselves as metaphor and image; the strange blooms of an otherwise invisible organism that runs beneath the forest floor.