By Aaron Edwards, B.F.A. Painting, SCAD Atlanta
The work focuses on an effort to understand and explore the power of environmental influence. By placing creation (creatures or beings) in an unnatural setting, the concept of evolution or elimination is presented. From physical to spiritual, the environment will influence a subject to adapt or collapse. This concept comes from my experience living in the wild, with the lack of a social environment along with different animal encounters that were life changing and life threatening. Since I entered into the animal’s natural environment, I made it immediately unnatural for the both of us; therefore the animal had the upper hand on me, being predatorily stronger, having the say of either evolvement or death (interaction and adaptation). The animal chose evolvement over death, and my work displays the spirit of my experiences.
This course’s work consists of three paintings (potentially four) that concern the concept of animal and man within an environment (interactions and adaptations). I selected certain animals that are placed within obscure and irregular environments apart from their natural habitat. The idea is that in order for animals to survive they must completely rely on the environments given: such as food, climate, etc. So when animals are placed in an environment that’s unnatural for them, they can either evolve or die. Humans are very different, in which we don’t necessarily need a certain physical environment to survive (apart from hunter/gatherers), more so a communal or spiritual environment that can potentially evolve us or destroy us. I also wanted to incorporate how humans and animals affect each other’s environments and how life and death is involved and evolves. Where there is life, death follows, but from death new life is emanated as the cycle continues. Exploring this cycle led me to an understanding of rebirth in a living or dead presence within an environment (tangible and intangible) that passes the final yet continuous outcome.