Stacey Cushner, one of the artists featured in our humanNATURE online exhibition, draws precise yet etherial images of of the natural world, conveying a sense of both dislocation and connection as though looking at a dream.
Below Stacy discusses the significance of nature in her work. She also discusses her process, sharing some of the objects and artists who have inspired her.
How does your work address the relationship between the human and natural worlds?
The outside world connects us to the environment, we can travel on foot (or boat) into the fabulous and enormous range of unknown worlds, the wild world – it sharpens our minds - you make your own way at your own speed. We have seen in this pandemic that we cannot live in our boxed homes, like lemmings in one space. Being in forests and walking is a way to improve our moods, our creativity, and our humanity for all living things. We would find it immensely difficult to live without the natural world for all of the wonder, joy, and sustenance it gives us, but the natural world could definitely live without us.
I treasure the forests. The blue tree drawings were inspired by the idea of the forests as a place to daydream and cherish. No boundaries, just trees, twigs and footpaths. Blue color pencil is used to create a mythically Utopian forest of trees and scenic worlds. This is a world I’d like to live in.
What are some of your inspirations?
I’ve always loved the blue and white drawings on Delft ware – I was just enthralled with them from a young age – they were in a friend’s house, very accessible if you want to see some kind of art but were unable to go to a museum or gallery yourself.
I also adore the Australian artist Danie Mellor’s work. There’s so much in it and it takes my breath away.
Thirdly, I (used) to go to botanical gardens and took many photos of the sculptural trees there – see these above. That’s what I’ve used for my drawings mostly. Other times, I’ll get my phone out if I’m walking in the woods (which I do several times a week) and snap a few shots of the sturdy, forgotten trees.