My work is rooted in my layered relationship to the bio-political and vulnerable landscapes I grew up exploring in my native Colombia, particularly its rainforests. I create immersive visual environments, evoking both the fear and wonder I experience when surrounded by nature. In my practice I engage directly with these landscapes, photographing my surroundings and collecting samples. This intimate process of discovery stands in contrast to early naturalists, whose cataloging of nature left it susceptible to colonization. Using analog and digital techniques, I build on and reimagine the visual makeup of my collected flora and fauna, creating hidden, complex ecosystems. The resulting works reveal unforeseen surprises in the seemingly recognizable, encouraging close inspection and a new dialog about the individual’s relationship to the natural world.

While my work visually beckons, it simultaneously serves as a reminder of the historical and continued exploitation of natural ecosystems. I employ a monochrome palette as a metaphor for the endangered natural world, using black and white interrupted by details painted in gold; glimmering reminders of the devastating cost of human avarice. Remaining natural landscapes and their destruction often feel like abstractions; important but removed phenomena we should care about and advocate for, but seldom do. My work makes those abstractions real and personal, inviting the viewer to both delight in nature and challenging them to form a meaningful, immediate relationship  to its endurance.

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Photo by Peter Ross