Whirling-Menagerie

Artists Statement

For over twenty years I have been making work that primarily relates to one subject—life forms in nature and our relationship to the natural world. My paintings and sculpture depict turbulent gardens informed by nature’s riotous colorful beauty, or the deep dark space of our universe filled with a Byzantine intricacy of patterns, shapes, and constellations.

The work conveys the order beneath the confusion found in these two worlds—the garden and universe—both of which are astounding, capricious and seemingly anarchic.

The science of fractals and patterns of chaos are particularly important to my work. A fractal is a complex geometric figure made up of patterns that repeat itself—each time on a smaller scale, and each smaller version is referred to as a “self-similar ” form. At first glance they seem to be a tangle of order/disorder or violence/beauty. I’m drawn to nature’s intrinsic capacity to create and reproduce pattern—as both a source of imagery and as inspiration for my working process and studio practice.

Fractals basically tell the story of the wild transformations in nature that take place on a daily basis, and they give order to a chaotic world of energy and change. My paintings, sculpture and installations are a response to these natural wonderments.

My daily, up-close encounter with nature is the fifty-foot journey through our family garden, from home to the studio. I am continually captured by nature’s sheer lunatic exuberance—a spectacle of complexity—beautiful, simple, and haphazard.

—Carrie Lederer