Nancy Blum
InstallationMy large‐scale works on paper, rendered in ink, colored pencil, gouache and graphite, portray a fantastic realm in which flowers own the space. I use a variety of 16th and 17th-century botanical images, from Chinese plum blossoms to German botanicals, as starting points for each drawing. Rather than alluding to an actual landscape, I instead combine species of plants in the same drawing that would not customarily exist together in nature. Obsessive handwork creates intricate layers of visual information to be discovered over time and, in this way, the works become a seductive meditation for the viewer.

I use botanical motifs to create images that are universally associated with growth and continuity. My deeper intent is to conjure the ‘flower’ as an active, forceful agent, subverting a culturally conditioned point of view that often deems the ephemeral and the organic as less powerful and of limited value. My ‘wonderland’ presents a view of life that pulses with expansive fecundity; hopefully, it also propels comprehension of the connectedness of all beings within the limitless energy operating throughout this world.

When making art for public spaces, I strive to invest these commissions with similar content, while bringing beauty and a high level of craft to a particular environment. As I conceive and develop each piece, I respond to the specifics of the surrounding architecture, ecosystem, and community in an effort to compellingly meet the needs of the site. My studio practice, in turn, is invigorated by opportunities to design work in relationship to an existing framework, and the special demands and responsibilities this process entails.