by Leslie Cheng
Artist Mayme Kratz finds inspiration in Arizona’s harsh desert climate, collecting found organic materials and capturing them in a polymer resin. This act of preservation is an ode to the ephemeral–a memento mori–that forces the viewer to acknowledge their transient place in the world. Her Bloom series uses repetition to create undulating patterns that are reminiscent of psychedelic hallucinations, or even microscopic cell images. What results is a sense of rhythm that transfixes the viewer into meditation mode. The viewer’s eye inevitably follows the beat, their eyes gliding back and forth and around the panel. It feels like an infinitely intricate arrangement meant to remind the viewer the makeup of our own being.
While it may seem strange for something so insignificant to us–such as grass and dust–to be elevated, in the sense that it is frozen in time as a treasure to behold, Kratz’s works is an example as to why art exists. Art plays an important role in slowing down the senses and allowing often overlooked objects or moments the time to be properly appreciated. After all, who holds the authority to discern from what deserves our attention and what doesn’t? Kratz’s works encourage us to spare our time and contemplate over the unnoticed. By giving our attention to these, we are recognizing our place in the world. She gives beauty and meaning to the neglected and provides us the opportunity to think about it in relation to our lives. We are no more significant than the speck of dust lying on the desert floor in the grand scheme of life. It is a truly meditative experience that harnesses an important idea: if we all take the time to appreciate everything that surrounds us, both big and small, then we might have a chance at leaving the world in better shape than we found it.
Check out this awesome video on Mayme Kratz’s intense process.