Sara Baker Michalak
Mixed media artworks for the natural world's well-being
My works reflect the natural world's beauty and its ephemerality: the tangible that clearly defines nature's physical forms, and the fluid forces and rhythms that animate it. As nature's well-being is potentially threatened as a result of human actions, my art practice deals more directly with these issues.
The planet's materials, processes and time interact and manifest as place. While I most often begin with recognizable imagery that references land, water and atmosphere, elements of abstraction develop as I consider our relationships and experiences with the place and find more to express. I intend to render forms observed and felt in the nonhuman world as being true in human experience too: nature's 'light and dark' is meaningful to us because light and dark are fundamental to human seeing, experiencing, knowing. So it is with states such as the ordered and the random, beginnings and endings, chaos and cosmos: all -- and the forces that flow through and unite them -- exist at the core of the human and nonhuman alike. We tend to experience these 'pairs' as opposites, dualities. Rather, I mean to express these not as two opposing states, but rather as equal and essential parts of one entity: No one without the other; not two, but one. The human and nonhuman worlds are linked inextricably at this fundamental level: the two are one. Threats of climate change -- real threats to all that we know, all that we are -- demand that we commit our efforts to preserve and protect the integrity of our planet, all that makes it whole. It is my hope to make some small contribution to these efforts.