Symbiosis: A close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may benefit each member.
When I began to incorporate lichen onto my surfaces as a weight and balance for composition, I was mostly interested in its textures and patterns. Lichen has an ancient and weathered look: it makes me think of civilizations that revered the stone circle as a symbol of the connection between the harmony of nature and the cosmos. The patterns of the lichen appeared on man-made Dolmens and portal tombs as well as naturally on stone.
I began to read more about lichen and it’s symbiotic relationship to algae; how they create their own existence, yet are attached. I found parallels in my own life; the distance that comes from independence, yet still remaining attached to my ancestors and culture. An outcropping of land, a farmhouse, a church or a graveyard may take on greater significance when it contains some familial connection. This became apparent when traveling through my ancestral Sicily and in my wife’s native Ireland. Whether drawing inspiration from the Cathedral mosaics in Monreale or through the neolithic stone of Drombeg, this work resonates with a desire to come full circle. What began as physically traveling back to the land, has left an impression, influencing my work’s narrative. Whether figuratively or intellectually, I have this symbiotic relationship with my ancestors and culture and it informs my art.