Through my artwork I explore how humans are involved in the creation, maintenance, and understanding of Nature. Before becoming a full-time artist, I earned my veterinary degree and practiced wildlife conservation medicine in Africa, and this art/science background allows me to examine and critique both fields from an unusual perspective. My studio research is a direct result of my fieldwork in Africa, and reflects on those complex experiences and the powerful, sometimes contradictory, emotions evoked.
I examine anthrozoology (human-animal relations) and visual representation of animals in the contemporary world, including meanings embedded in cultural understandings of the human/nature dichotomy and issues of human control over nature. I strive to convey my love of animals while simultaneously reflecting on the difficulties of wildlife conservation (view clips on my bio page of a TV show documenting this aspect of my life and work). Through my work, I attempt to provide a more nuanced view of both people and animals. I ask viewers to examine their own roles in perpetuating conservation problems. My art queries the interfaces, interactions, and inter-dependencies of humans and animals in the natural world. I do not pretend to have the answers to these international multi-factorial problems, but I do seek out innovative visual methods to challenge our understanding of Africa and its human and animal inhabitants.
You are invited to download my MFA written thesis to read more about my work: high quality images (7.5MB) or compressed (3.1MB).