Zoe Chrissos

Kenyon College

As a kid, Saturdays and Sundays were dedicated solely to the outdoors. In recalling those long, sweaty days of summer and fall, I remember marveling over root systems, patches of moss between bricks, the individual veins of leaves. Now entering adulthood, my experience of the natural world has become increasingly jaded. No longer does my empirical understanding of nature suffice--for now our manipulations threaten the environment.

As a sculptor and installation artist, I use branches, wood, steel, copper, fabric and plaster to create abstract forms. The initial raw, untouched state of a material inspires my sculpting of structure and texture. I accentuate and exploit each material’s inherent, natural shape by grinding, shaping or treating surfaces. In those physical, repetitive gestures, I find myself absorbed in the medium, lost, oscillating between what in my mark making I can control, and what I cannot.

In my work I aim to abstract human manipulations of the natural world. I constantly search for meaning in repetition and process. As nature systematizes creation with patterns, habits, modes of survival, I too systematize my control over these materials. We anatomize the environment, find comfort in it, use it for shelter, devise its boundaries, attribute its meaning. Through this extreme handling of form and materials, I hope the viewer can meditate on their own relationship with the physicality of nature and feel the ways human beings tangibly manipulate the world.

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