NATURE DANSANTE

 

A series of sui generis ink drawings from root "models" by Philip Villard presented as sculpture or framed in shadow box frames, primarily created at his studio in Provence, France. To inquire about availability, show schedule and hard cover book, contact the artist directly via e-mail.

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

Discovering sinuous roots, twisting movements

Unearthing: Nature Dansante

Feel the sense of wonder

During creative Pareidolia* exploration

With perception through the artist’s eye

 

Philip Gabriel Villard

Boothbay Harbor 2014

 

*Pareidolia 

A psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus, (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant.

 

SCIENTIST COMMENTARY:

New understandings about plant roots suggest that they explore their subterranean environment with more sophistication and sensitivity than we appreciate.  They express their responses to encounters with nutrients, water, and the texture of the soil by a form of motion that is mediated by their growth. Near the tips of roots, signals are generated that also direct the growth and movement of parts above the ground.

 

A way to think about the common source of all life is to consider the polarities of plants and animals. It has been hypothesized that plant roots are the anterior part of the plant body, analogous to the head of an animal, where feeding and signaling pathways originate. The posterior end of a plant is actually above the ground, where reproduction occurs and wastes are generated (including oxygen and water vapor).

 

Philippe Villard’s figure drawings align with this vision of roots as living expressions of movement and as a suite of responses to their environment - through encounter, absorption, growth, exploration of space, and even dance.

 

Greg Lowenberg, PhD Botany

02-2013