Several years ago I rescued a remnant of original, unplowed native prairie in Missouri. Since then, I have been on a quest to preserve and protect this precious parcel of land and the creatures that depend upon it.
I immerse myself—learning all that I can about prairies; not just by reading, but by doing… restoring and reconstructing the degraded areas, reintroducing native plants that once grew there. This process involves being in close contact with organic forms found in earth, water, plants and wildlife. In this exhibit, I focus on the sensory magic of the unique and rare prairie habitat, and its influence on what I make.
My work reflects my fascination with the overwhelming number of elements that surround me in this natural ecosystem of abundance, and my realization that every event, no matter how small, is vital to the inextricable web of life.
Walking through a field I am suddenly in the midst of masses of sunflowers as far as I can see. They dance in waves, covered with thousands of tiny winged insects busily mating and munching. All fragile moving parts, making patterns and repetitions, encircling me and resonating collectively in a low hum...
I turn around. Scores of tree swallows are dipping and diving aerodynamically over the pond at high speed, perfectly choreographed, tracing arched lines in the sky, making concentric ripples in the water as they kiss the pond surface. They have no fear. They never collide.
Such natural happenings suggest to me rhythms, patterns and cycles. I observe and anticipate these occurrences—how they gradually emerge, change and repeat as if according to plan, season after season, year after year.
And so, back in my studio, I impose my own ordering of marks on cloth.
These repetitive visual marks are recordings of what I see, hear and touch. And cloth, as my medium, manifests the natural, tactile environment from which it came.
Susan Lordi Marker