Artist Statement
 
When Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to man he became a symbol for the human struggle, a struggle in which we are constantly searching for methods to improve our natural circumstances. However, as we alter these natural circumstances we risk triggering unintended consequences and altering natural balances in the process.  We are constantly learning about the world around us and utilizing this information for human benefit. This is a very old idea, however; the extent to which we have impacted the globe around us has speed up dramatically since the time of the industrial revolution. We are now living in a human impacted ecosystem, where every organism on the earth feels the influence of our presence through the atmosphere, water, and dirt.

The human lens through which we experience the world is an inescapable circumstance. Though our bodies are of the animal realm, we perceive our minds as not, resulting in an irresolvable conflict that epitomizes the human condition. I am fascinated with the human body with a specific interest in how foreign it can seem.  Scientific inquiry of our physical substance reveals a bottomless depth of knowledge into our structure, from muscular and skeletal systems to things much more complex such as genetics and the web of microorganisms that inhabit us. Although we can come to a knowledgeable understanding of individual systems and entities, understanding how all these things work together is beyond the scope of our capacity. In our attempt to conceptually put them back together there is a fracturing effect.

I’m fascinated by scientific methods of observing, collecting, dissecting and classifying to define the world around us. The lines that we draw are like snapshots providing a static vision of a dynamic world. Without definitions we have no basis to begin a conversation; cognition takes place through a constant flow of categorization. Yet, seeing these definitions as fixed boxes can lead us to assumptions that aren’t always right. In my art work I hope to challenge our assumptions and to lead the viewer to a place where the scientist’s lab and the artist studio collide - a place where the familiar becomes unfamiliar - a place where the reflection of our selves can have a terrifying beauty and an ethereal sensation. 

These are the ideas through with art has led me. It is a journey through which I’m always learning. It is a conversation with material, form and concept through which I’m not always directing but listening and discovering. In many ways it is a spiritual journey that has opened my eyes to the connections between seemingly separate entities to a realization that everything is connected in more ways than we can comprehend.


Elaine Quave