What’s the Signific-ANTS?

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.

Ant Support. Slip-cast ceramics, 41 pieces, encased in 2 wooden frames. Earth tones on the outside, glowing gold on the inside to make the viewer interact with the piece.

Ant. Water vessels.

Water Molecules. Natural dyed fabric from local restaurant food waste, hand sewed water molecules/ants, hand-cut wood, polyvinyl chloride pipes. Each form represents an ant and a water molecule, and altogether they symbolize resilience, strength, and the power of a collaborative community.

Tomato Bowls. Organic bowls and rings.

Nest. Sewn fabric, wire, sticks.

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