Worlds Collide was begun in 2009. These paintings deal with both microscopic and cosmic imagery, as did my previous series, Unseen Universes. Now however, the range of individual anthropological references is more pronounced: ancient petroglyphs from the American Southwest, Zen rock gardens, statues of the Buddha, stained glass windows, mandalas, and many others.
This sacred art pertaining to diverse cultures is combined with scientific imagery including magnified views of cells, geologic structures and stars. The title of the series Worlds Collide relates to the worlds of science and religion, and the paintings explore the nature of their relationship. The work asks whether there is an inevitable conflict between the two or if they actually are connected on a deeper level.
The process of creating these paintings begins with collage studies, consisting of photographs taken during my travels, along with visual research. Typically I work on five or six collages at one time so that each study builds and evolves from the previous one. By doing so, they are interconnected and start to tell a story. While I deliberately use certain imagery, the overall compositions are more intuitive and come naturally. Visible images from nature and the cosmos are nearly identical to what you see under a microscope. Much of what I paint is based on the wonderment of this phenomenon.
There is a strong visual experience in these paintings – they can be impactful, chaotic and rhythmic. The work is very emotional, but the particular response depends upon the viewer. These works are created from my personal experiences, and for each person there should be no limit to how they are interpreted.
Worlds Collide is informed by my belief that there is a cosmic energy permeating everything, whether it be a rock, an amoeba, or a galaxy. Each has a particular energy within them, and everything is one within the universe. I want these paintings to encourage a universal, cross-cultural understanding of how we all strive to understand our existence. I feel that the work expresses the ever-evolving interconnectedness of the universe and the progression of human consciousness.