There are currently 10-14 million species of life on Earth. A species is defined as a group of the same organism that can reproduce with one another and produce fertile offspring; an organism is seen as a biotic, a living part of the environment.
Each of the artworks in this exhibition is inspired by the scientific-biological nature, but also the spiritual symbolism, of an organism. Each of us is an organism, quite unlike others, but at the same time also the same. Human embryos resemble the embryos of any other mammal, bird or amphibian during certain developmental stages because all animals carry very ancient genes dating back to the origin of cells. We’re created from the same dust, elements and atoms and governed by the same natural laws – even though our human-made laws don’t grant the same rights to other organisms.
Bone, leaves, cellular shapes, different species including fungi, insects and mammals intertwine symbolically in the artworks with human-related imagery. Sometimes also looking deeper into the bones and the cells glued together to form us. The aim of the artworks are in part to create spiritual visual symbols that can help us understand and feel our place within the biotic community of our planet. Some of the works hint at a different way of understanding and living life, or a glimpse – though subtle or symbolic – of the history of our own species, looking at previous civilizations and ancestry. Everything in life is connected in some way and when we accept this interconnection, we can start healing the scars that results from our forced or ingrained disconnection from ourselves, other species, and our environment.
“ORGANISM is a body of work inspired by the notion that I as a human being am an organism, within an environment, and sharing this environment with many other organisms and species. We mostly aim to live in symbiosis, but often experience illness, imbalance or other disharmony that could result in… death.” – Janet Botes