Steven L. Anderson: Grass Roots, Oct. 4–27, 2018 at Day & Night Projects, Atlanta
The Grass Roots artworks continue my exploration of the forms and systems of plants—these pieces isolate normally unseen root structures and imagine them as dynamic flows of color and line with brush and pen, custom rubber stamps, air-blown ink and acrylic, and collage. They depict a perspective of nature that is always on the move—wandering freely, integrating and absorbing forms, working with and against the architecture of the modernist grid.
The imagery and ideas of Grass Roots reference from scientific illustrations; ponder rhizomes, tubers, & bulbs; envision natural forms intertwined with modernist structures. Grass Roots are disrupted by collage, but access the flow; they reach, strive for connection, for a way forward. They are metaphors for movement, for movements, for organizing ourselves; they reach back to a body of work from 2009, they stretch forward with new science. They form models for survival and flourishing during the ecocide of late capitalism.
Titles of the work comes from phrases found in a few books detailing new thinking about our relationship to nature (Donna J. Haraway’s “Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene,” Adrienne Maree Brown’s “Emergent Strategy”) and new science about trees’ relationships to each other (David George Haskell’s “The Songs of Trees”).