-Shadowbox Anomalous Series-

2019 Honorable Mention
TAG Spring Juried Show
Awarded by juror Ed Rice

12 x 12 in.
Mixed Media


Artist's Statement:

Nestlings was originally created in the hopes that it would
be accepted into the South Carolina State Museum's
30th Anniversary Art Show featuring artists from
all over SC. Unfortunately, it did not make the cut
but I am still very pleased with how it turned out.

The meaning behind the work is along the same
lines as 'Apothecary'. I am continuing to explore
the ideas of releasing the burdens of unnecessary
fear. In this case, the fear of spiders and insects.

I find it frustrating how often individuals will
default to the primitive reaction of panic, smash,
salt and burn when faced with creatures that are
no threat at all to them... simply because their
appearance is so "inhuman" or "alien". It is a
base reaction devoid of thought.

The fact is, these creatures are everywhere.
Everyone will encounter them fairly regularly.
And exposure therapy works. People are
capable of changing their reaction patterns
from mindless lashing out to something
reasoned and in control.

It begins with observation.

With observation, curiosity develops. With the
addition of research, there is knowledge. With
knowledge, empathy develops. Over time, fear
is replaced with acceptance and understanding.

When I have talked with people about their fear
of spiders in particular, they usually mention the
legs. There are too many of them. They have too
many joints. They skitter in strange ways.
Sometimes there are hairs.

They also mention fears of nests. They imagine
hidden nests full of skittering, alien legs bursting
out at them when they are at their most vulnerable.
When they are asleep. When they are showering.
When they are voiding.

In 'Nestlings', there is the opportunity to look
at some of the elements they fear with the full
knowledge that they will not move. They are
simply clay and wire and paint and canvas.
Completely harmless. The viewer can take 
their time looking and thinking and wondering.

'Nestlings' consists of  tarantula-like legs bursting
forth from a nest built into a bed of  strange
beauty. With closer observation, however,
one can see there are shades of  a rich, deep
beautiful blue. And that the textures look soft
and flowing. And that there are little toes on the
ends that are interesting and cute.

With time, and calm, and consideration, it is my
hope that individuals who carry this burden of
fear will shake off those bonds in favor of
knowledge and acceptance of life forms that
initially look strange to them.

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