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Artist ID: 2552

My work is conceptually based on the intersection of the natural world, my personal gardens and the effects of climate change. I take photographs of flowers and ginkgo leaves and with various apps on my iPad, I alter the images. Through this lens of technology, I mimic what is essentially taking place in our world.
I contrast the perfect, measured symmetry of my computer-assisted designs with painterly, atmospheric layers of paint. I revel in color, undulating form and delicious textures. I celebrate the paint and tangible aspects of color. My flowers are beautiful, but they are monsters, contemporary, biomorphic Frankensteins. They are designed to seduce the viewer and lure them in, just like our phones, tablets, computers and even watches do. They are intended to be snares. Just like the climate crisis, they do not look dangerous because they are beautiful.

That’s part of the problem I believe, we can not see climate change. The landscape is still beautiful, my yard is lush and dripping with Spanish moss, just like my work home, the campus of Spring Hill College. The view out my window at work is like a postcard. Everything looks beautiful, just like it always has but it’s different now, it’s scary now.

We only pay attention when the house is on fire. I obsessively paint my monster flowers and hope, hope for change, hope for solutions. Hope for everyone’s children. My paintings are my primordial silent scream.

Wanda Sullivan is a Professor of Art and the Director of the Eichold Gallery at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL. Her paintings are conceptually based on climate change. For her current body of work, Synthetic Naturals, she photographs natural elements, predominantly flowers, through various apps on her iPad. By altering images of natural materials through the lens of technology, she mimics what is essentially taking place in our world. Technology is changing our climate and our landscapes. As a professor, she challenges her students to see the potential of art as a medium for change.

She received her MFA in painting from the University of Mississippi in 1990. Sullivan exhibits her work nationally in competitions, galleries and museums such Cole Pratt Gallery in New Orleans, LA, Alabama Contemporary Art Center in Mobile, AL, The Hollins University Eleanor D. Wilson Museum in Roanoke, VA, the Wichita Center for the Arts in Wichita, KS, the Santa Clara University Gallery in Santa Clara, CA and the Xavier University Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, to name a few. She was awarded Greater Mobile Artist of the Year in 2010.

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