Like, everyone, I appreciate the beauty of a standard landscape that represents the world we see daily. However, I want to convey something beyond that experience with my work, something deeper, unseen but sensed.
While Art Nouveau is generally considered these days as a design style, when it was introduced it was thought of by its practitioners as an avant-garde artistic philosophy that was meant to reveal and examine the innermost, hidden qualities of reality, utilizing new technologies and techniques while based in nature. This same attitude is used in producing my landscape images, revealing the hidden patterns and vocabularies via new techniques and means. The visual elements employed by the Art Nouveau movement can be seen in my manipulated photographs, and have been there all along, pre-Nouveau, always waiting to be used by new voices in new ways once again. The repetition of pattern can be seen in the art and craft of many cultures across time, from Islam to the Celts to Christianity and Buddhism, around the entire globe… The Art Nouveauists took this to another level, enlarging, expanding and abstracting these themes to their essence and individualities, bringing the organic flow of the natural world to urban settings that had become formalized and sterile, and renewing our relationship to the natural world.
The beauty of these images and their impact on our ways of being raise questions for me: At our current rate of destruction, what will our world look like, and how will our philosophies/religions develop if we have only ourselves to refer to for inspiration? Are we missing meanings hidden in these patterns, assigning arbitrary meaning in the place of truth? Why do the same basic patterns keep showing up, whether it’s in the ground, in the trees, or clouds in the sky? What does this repetition mean? Are these merely arcane phenomena? Are these patterns replicated unknowingly in the manmade world? Am I a Quixotic quest?
I’ve been using these techniques since 2002. While these technique are not unusual now, I was one of the very first to start exploring and using them to make art. These techniques and the ensuing repeating patterns that have been revealed have also led me to explore the world of fractals, and how they apply to the world around us. Fractals are a relatively new way to explain how the world is constructed, an attempt to explain how order is created out of apparent chaos.
Wug Laku, 2012