'The real problem of humanity is we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and God-like technology. And it is terrifically dangerous, and it is now approaching a point of crisis overall.' E.O. Wilson
Through my work, I seek to find an ethical framework for our progress by remembering the things that are best about being human; empathy and awe for each other, our planet home and the fragile biological web of life, of which we are only a small part.
A polymath, my critical practice spans painting, sculpture, and technology and I am the only artist in the world licensed to use NOXORB, a newly developed ceramic material that absorbs nitrogen dioxide (NOx) pollution from the air; the brown by-product of combustion and intensive agriculture that we see on city skylines. But its also a material, because of its stone like strength and inertness even at high temperatures, that may well have formed the blocks of the great Pyramids according to its original inventor Professor Davodivich in the 1970's.
My work based on innovation inspired by the natural world, is increasingly less about the narrative of our past planetary ingressions, and more about our adaptation to a post-industrial, anthropogenic world. Inspired by Darwin’s 1862 ‘evolutionary arms race’ theory between an unusual orchid and moth, I seek a new meta- modernist era: the ‘Symbiocene’ a time during which we realise that one species can only survive because of the existence of the other. We cannot undo the endless chicken bones and fossilised plastic layer, the remnants of our endless growth and industrialisation, but we can learn new behaviours and turn history into a better future for our 'ancestors' .
Without a drastic global change in the next 7 years, the achievements we have enjoyed through our inventiveness, will become futile if we can no longer sustain the most basic of our human needs such as clean air and water.. Art and the creative industries can help to not simply change our perspectives, but also provide a visual language. by-passing data, of the systems that connect all the 'communities' inherent to the functioning of our biosphere. Artists are the original systems thinkers.
This duality, the ability to hold two opposing ideas without judgement, something inherent to my training as scientist, is one of the fundamental reasons I am still so optimistic that we can evolve to realise that we are related to every living and inert thing on our home planet. its also why in my processes, I constantly experiment to find new ways of using old or found natural materials.
When it becomes about 'family' we can be driven to change almost overnight.