Shana Pearlmutter

I see my mixed media artworks as psychological and biological specimen, a personal and universal mix of allusions, hurdles, and reflection. Fusing together organic forms, experimenting with the painted surface and building up layers of over-painting has become a launching point for my creativity as an artist.

Inquiries of cognitive connections, microscopic landscapes, and the tangents of memory show in the layers. Magnified worlds become social petri dishes that subtly comment on environmental health, body care, and the dynamics of human interaction. The viewer is encouraged to discover the ties between the ordinary and the sublime, between the industrial and the organic, between the disposable and the sacred. Neural synapses, optics, changing weather patterns and biological systems also enter the visual syntax that helps make my thoughts literal. In many ways these image sources become another metaphor for my fascination with the complexities and consequences of contemporary life.

Since my recent visits to Morocco and marriage to a Moroccan man, I have adapted the ancient art of henna into my visual language. The ornamental henna drawn is used to celebrate joyous collective events, issue protection or consider the power of superstition. Integrating the botanical and geometric repeating henna styles into my work is a way for me to: find meaningful visual symbols that represents this important cultural shift in my life and to pay tribute to the precious tradition of henna that has been continued by Semitic women since 3000 BCE and is today, used in many of the same ways to signify important thresholds of life.