• Olivia Gray, Blue Hour
  • Olivia Gray, Effulgent
  • Olivia Gray, Rain Mountain
  • Olivia Gray, Realms I
  • Olivia Gray, Realms 2
  • Olivia Gray, Sylvan
  • Olivia Gray, Untitled Leaf Painting

The paintings in “Biophilia” explore the physical and mental connections that humans have with the Earth. Place-based and embodied memories are both the driving force and the subject matter of my paintings. The figurative paintings on paper composed of overlapped and superimposed imagery of different scales, explore mental connections to nature through the emerging and dissolving forms, shapes, and colors that invoke the feeling of remembering or discovering something over a period of time. I make these pieces with no planning or sketches beforehand, allowing each painting to emerge and evolve intuitively and in unexpected ways.

The little paintings on tree leaves are a meditation on the cycles of nature and the human body as well as the intimate relationships that we can build with the transient organic forms that surround us. By painting small oil portraits on ephemeral dry leaves, I invite the viewer to contemplate the leaf as its own being with which humans share an origin. These objects also call to mind the fragility and temporality of the human form which will one day crumble away to rejoin the Earth.

These two series communicate a simple but ignored truth; that we as humans are inseparable from the forces of nature and time. We are not only connected to nature; we are nature. Many aspects of our consumer culture remove us from the origin of our food, the cycles of day and night, place-based communities, our waste, our bodies, animal and plant wisdom, etc. The separation that western culture has contrived is illusory and arbitrary. However, this societal structure is not the only way that humans can exist on this planet. Through mindfully curating our individual and communal lives, we are capable of moving towards a more just, aware, and connected existence as a species.