Trees/Humans: Life in the Balance
April 18 — May 16, 2021
About the Show:
Humans have evolved in the last 200,000 years (a mere blip in earth’s 4.5 billion years of existence) from co-inhabiting our earthly territory with all other life forms on a relatively even playing field to becoming the most aggressively invasive species bar none, in the history of the planet. We are, as Richard Powers author of ‘The Overstory’ puts it “cashing in a billion years of planetary savings bonds and blowing it on assorted bling.” Our unique intellect that distinguishes us from other creatures (generative computation, promiscuous combination of ideas, use of symbols and abstract thought) seems to have come with one important element missing – responsible self-regulation. Our sense of connectedness to the planet and its inhabitants has all but left us. What it has brought on is an insatiable hunger for more…..of everything, at the expense of life itself.
Trees on the other hand, co-inhabit territory in a very different way, taking and giving over to suit the collaborative needs of other life forms with which they live. Forests are collectives where no one individual’s needs are met without a direct connection to the wellbeing of the whole. Competition in a forest is one form of collaboration. This collaborative wisdom is something we humans might learn from and perhaps be saved by. Using my own photo images of ancient trees silk-screened onto wood veneers, with additional layers of drawing, painting and printing, I expose environmental crises experienced from the trees’ perspective and create intense, powerfully animated compositions. My personal visual language illustrates nature’s urgings, her spoken language increasingly gone unheard by the ears, minds and hearts of those who inhabit and dominate her. I visualize these pleadings, revealing their ancient wisdom and urgency.
About the Artist
Patricia Underwood is a Washington based mixed media artist / printmaker who uses materials and symbols in sophisticated and subtle ways. Her work has been described as evocative, complex and richly textured. Content encompasses nature, human spirituality and healing. After studying the Japanese language, she began to interpret music (a universal language) through her own visual calligraphy, which finds it’s way into almost all of her work.
Enjoy this video tour of Patricia’s show.
Learn about Patricia’s creative process and art-making techniques by watching her artist talk video!