Our featured Piece of the Week (POW) is a beautiful and strange amalgamation of the cochlea and orchid.
by Michelle Anderst
12" X 16"
Oil on Canvas
This piece is currently being exhibited in our gallery as part of the "Inside Out" show that will be up through Friday, November 5th. Auricular Apparatus is a perfect blending of the organic and mechanical that Anderst is so well known for. I am particularly drawn to this piece by the spiral shape of the cochlea backdropped behind the blooming orchid. Both the orchid and the cochlea bring about a delicate look with the mechanical apparatus and circuitry balancing out the piece with an industrial feel. Maybe this is a machine that is meant to hear the beauty of nature. Perhaps it's needed in this world, as many of us have lost our sense of union with nature? Or could this simply be a reminder of how nature and human anatomy reflecting each other.
I am currently exploring the relationships between organic structure, such as bones and beetles, to man-made structures that achieve the same functions using similar structural elements. One example is the end point of a circuit, called a lead, located on a computer board looks very similar to a nerve cell ending called a bouton. Both structures serve the purpose of communicating electronic signals but one is built by man and the other occurs naturally. I use wallpaper in my compositions to enhance and compare the elegance that I see in bones, veins and nerves. I want viewers of my artwork to think about the patterns and beauty in these parts of our bodies instead of seeing them as a reference to death.
I have learned thus far that my paintings are a direct result of my experiences as an only child. My childhood was spent in an environment free of unnecessary stimulation with many afternoons of solitude and quiet. Instead of watching television I poured over my father's anatomy books. At the age of 9, I took it upon myself to memorize all the bones in the body because they intrigued me. I spent much of my time preoccupying myself through observation which led to the depiction of scenes filled with solitude, self reflection and nostalgia.
Bherd Studios Gallery
@ The Greenwood Collective
8537 Greenwood Ave N Suite 1
Seattle, WA 98103
Hours: Wed - Fri from 12pm - 6pm + private tours by prior arrangement.