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Flower Basket with Threads

Clare Ross

Flower Basket with Threads, 2023

Thread on archival pigment print on Hahnemühle archival watercolour rag (Ed. 1/1)

24” x 33”

$3,000 CDN (Please inquire for shipping)

Canadian artist Clare Ross deconstructs and reconstructs objects from nature in a unique practice, sparking dialogues about beauty and our interconnected role within the environment.

In her Empty Nests series, Ross photographs a found nest in its original state then deconstructs it to create an inventory of its parts. Like a biologist, she lays out each element in an arrangement that oscillates between scientific classification and a painterly abstraction full of riotous gestures, colours, forms and shapes – the whole evoking a composition that is nearly stylistically Baroque. Yet, the absence of hierarchy allows us to marvel at the material elements, having lost their connection to their purpose as building materials, they have returned to being Nature’s sheddings.

Finally, Ross paints each element and constructs a new nest or object, which she then photographs, often threading an artefact from the nest onto the finished print. The third step – the reconstruction – is unnatural, fabricated and fantastic.

The project is provocative as it takes a unique object widely regarded as a symbol of nurturing, safety and rebirth and dismantles it and shows the truth of it until there is nothing more to see than the common pieces easily found underfoot. Man’s heavy tread on nature is usually motivated by functionality, but this can lead to a reductionist perspective. By only valuing natural elements that serve our interests, we overlook and undervalue the broader complexity and interconnectedness of ecosystems. Clare Ross’ art practice employs symbolic action, but the questions apply broadly.

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