paintings > Foram Facets
2018; gouache and acrylic on wood (photography by Paul Takeuchi)
These paintings were made for an exhibition inspired by collaborations between scientists and artists, concerning research about foraminifera, a type of single-celled organism that demonstrates adaptation to extreme environments, specifically in the Santa Barbara Basin of southern California.
Three concepts became my focus for this project: the layers of ocean sediment where benthic foraminifera thrive (often without oxygen, as in the example of the Santa Barbara Basin); the forams’ reticulopodia that function as multipurpose tools, providing a means of movement, of reproduction and metabolic exchange, and of grasping materials and food, among other functions; and agglutination as a method of formation and growth of certain foraminifera tests or shells.
Inclined toward interpretation through abstraction and metaphor, I made multiple small paintings on wood panels. The lines and forms in each painting were determined by the grain patterns, with their implication of sedimentary layers and organic structures. The painted elements’ extensions over the edges of the panels suggest a shift of perspective and connotation of what is present on the face of the panels. The paintings may be seen as facets of interpretations of aspects of foraminifera.