What’s the Signific-ANTS?

Summer 2018

My work is about magnifying the importance and beauty of small organisms that are overlooked or misunderstood. To spread awareness about ants, I made them colorful and big, transforming them from gross microfauna to beautiful megafuana, so they would be noticed. Ants convey contrast between magnificence and minuteness, resilience and decay, and growth and destructiveness, similar to water. Ants can be destructive, like the floods Morganton has had, but also facilitate growth and diversity within a garden. Like the molecules of a liquid, when an object is dropped on a body of ants, they unlink their bodies to let the object pass through and then relink to fill the gap behind the object. Ants have plasticity and resilience, which is needed within every person in a community.

In Western North Carolina, Foothills Conservancy works with landowners to preserve land and water resources, with a priority in watershed lands. If organizations that focus on the protection of watersheds did not exist, there would not be enough water to sustain the human population by 2050. In my body of work, no form stands alone, representing how human flourishing comes from working together. I explored the relationship between humans and the environment to explain that we are all important parts of a whole ecosystem.

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