2010 A Natural Comparison

A Natural Comparison is a series of drawings juxtaposing anatomical images with found objects from the natural environment, an exploration which began in March 2009 while I was undertaking a residency at Murrays Cottage in Hill End, NSW (funded by the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery).  

One morning I stepped outside the cottage to come across a ‘spine’ in my front garden, a delicate stem of slightly withered leaves that almost exactly emulated the shape of the human vertebrae.  I ruminated on this, wondered what nature was trying to ‘tell’ me.  Suddenly, in studying the finer aspects of my surroundings more closely, I began to notice anatomical metaphors everywhere I looked – a brain, a spleen, a lung, muscles, teeth, bones, skin.  By some sort of serendipitous chance I had my copy of Gray’s Anatomy with me, often a source of inspiration in times past, and upon flicking through its pages I realised my observations were plausible.

In a spirit of discovery akin to that of the early naturalists who first explored this new country, I collected a variety of ‘specimens’ and studied them minutely.  In my analyses it soon became apparent to me that there is an apt comparison to be made between the intricate structure of our own bodies and that of the natural environment.  These ‘anatomical’ parts together make up a living breathing entity, whose complicated physiological processes maintain an equilibrium not unlike that occurring in our own bodies.