WORKING WITH WAX: Contemporary Encaustic Painting in Northern California
Curated by Thomas Morphis
January 21 - March 6, 2010
Emily Clawson — Untitled #1
Pneumatocysts and the sea are the inspiration for this group of paintings, Untitled no. 1-10. Pneumatocysts are floats attached to sea algae that hold it up towards sunlight. The floats are hollow, gas filled, membranes that act like buoys lifting the algae up from its anchor on the ocean floor, thus enabling an environment where photosynthesis can occur. Algae cannot survive without photosynthesis, the process by which they create energy from carbon dioxide, and oxygen as a byproduct. Sea and fresh water algae produce approximately 70% to 80% of the oxygen in our atmosphere responsible for sustaining human and animal life.
The floats that uphold sea algae have a profound affect on the balance of life below and above the waters surface. Observation of the relationships between the sea, algae and floats invite consideration of the interdependence of life and what sustains.