Artist Ben Timpson, the photography and new-media studio coordinator for Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Below, he shares his inspiration behind the series Act Natural.
I use a combination of photography and painting to visualize the subconscious nature of humanity. I am fascinated by choice making and the paradoxes of consciousness. Choices ripple out to affect our lives in ways that are not always clear or understood, but are often felt intrinsically. I turn to the beasts, forms, and textures of the natural world in my work, and use these symbols to reveal secret dramas and dichotomies, and illuminate the natures that position humanity within the microcosm and macrocosm of the universe.
Being alive is hard to express through any medium, and so I look to the bodies and textures of former living forms to connect the viewer conceptually to primal forces, psychological states, and deep-seated, archetypal trials. Leaves, insects, seeds, fur, the bodies of dead reptiles and amphibians, and other natural detritus are collaged and manipulated to illustrate clear moments of struggle. The leaf is used as the symbol of human individuality within the collective whole. Housed inside individual human figures, recognizable living forms are juxtaposed to signify voices in contest. The animal forms represent the choices themselves: one choice will consume the other in this battle— to eat or be eaten, an epic struggle playing out.
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