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More Art of Science, guest artist Barb Snyder



I wrote in my last post about the fertile terrain where art and science come together. I have always believed that, though our society separates these into two types of thought, even, lately, two sides of the brain, that it is  an artificial boundary: the creative mind is often at work in science and the meticulous evidence based mind is often at work in art.

Barb Snyder is a biologist who is also a printmaker and photographer. Here is what she says in her artist's statement for the Dundarave Print Workshop, an artists cooperative studio and gallery:

I frequently turn to nature and environmental issues for subject material. Over centuries of visual documentation images from nature, especially botanical/floral images, have been created, reproduced, and rendered in every medium imaginable to the point of ‘overexposure’. Yet each time we buy flowers, or select a special stone or shell from the beach, or render ‘wilderness’ on film or canvas, we convey our respect for and desire to bring the outside in. These objects and images become articles of reflection and of personal restoration.

My ‘day job’ is marine biology. My fascination with science, ecology and conservation has always motivated me.  There is remarkable overlap between art and science. Both disciplines require intense observation and extensive investigation. As well, both art and science inform my curiosity about life, natural processes and why we, and other animals, do what we do in the world.

My interests in nature, conservation and environmental issues inform my subject material. I hope to capture an essence of ‘wilderness’ in my photography. I am interested in creating images which capture conflicting elements: those of calm and tension, or grace and ferocity, in order to create a narrative and stimulate thought.

Printmaking generates a duality between planning and product which can offer mystery, resonance and insight in getting to a product. It also provides the artist with both nightmares of process and epiphanies of ideas.

Check out some of her wonderful prints (which, rumour has it,  have been bought by Bruce Springsteen!):


C'est ne pas un cheval

Letters from Darwin

Of her photography she says:

The late, great photographer Minor White said of photography, “Be still with yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence", and ultimately the essence of the subject will reveal itself  "for what it is . . . and for what else it is." The camera provides an opportunity for ‘knowing’ both subject and self. It offers a reminder from that moment of looking, but it is a documentation based on our imposed fiction. It is this duality that offers mystery, resonance and insight in a photo. A photograph offers an opportunity to look into the shadows long after the moment of observation has faded. I take pleasure in the way light invades dark and dark respects light.

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    Amazing Website, Continue the excellent job. Thanks a ton.
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    Alison Watt, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC - Blog - More Art of Science, guest artist Barb
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    Alison Watt, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC - Blog - More Art of Science, guest artist Barb

Reader Comments (2)

What a pleasant surprise to see this post - about the art of one of my oldest and dearest friend. And here I am in Paris, visiting wonderful art museums and thinking of you both - in both a scientific and artistic way!

April 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise B

Denise, thanks for stopping in, in the midst of your jet-setter schedule. x

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

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