Nature and civilization – the Town series
In this series, I explore the theme of nature and civilization and raise questions about the human scale.
My concept for “Town” is linked to the ancient “Stadt”, a word in the German language, and refers to a settlement larger than a village. It does not define “town” in the modern sense. My work refers to the Town which resembles a living organism in its structure and development. It grows around the needs of the inhabitants over time, in contrast to the modern city with its machine-made sterility and imposing precision. The Town remains within the framework of nature, with its irregular patterns, shapes, colors, and materials. It remains scaled to the human who exists as a part of nature, rather than standing in opposition and contrast to nature.
In human-size towns there is more interrelation than isolation – quite unlike the modern urban experience. But all civilization leads to fragmentation: the whole is divided as each person or family claims a separate space. Refractions become visible in the structure, forming clusters of repetitive but irregular entities, almost crystalline.
Town and River Town – Rainy Day Spring time
These pictures develop in a two-stage process, which is an allegory on the subject. The process reflects the duality of nature and civilization in a human environment.
Stage 1 (Nature) is action-based, characterized by unrestrained creation, in which color and material are applied with instinctive movements. Decisions are impulsive. Constructive actions can change with deconstructive ones; like nature, creating something untamed but not chaotic. Allegorically, this is the phase where humans first arrive at a site and decide to settle. The landscape has provided some extant structures and man builds with and around nature.
Stage 2 (Civilization) involves detailed elaboration of the artwork. The process is one of conscious decision-making to establish order. Allegorically, this how civilization develops. Judgments and selections are made regarding what is useful, and what will be enhanced, discarded, or tamed.