Kirsten Stolle takes on the role of a future naturalist and documentarian: discovering, cataloging and visually recording potential new generations of flora. Continuing to develop her contemporary vision of an odd, unsettling, and sometimes humorous account of the future, she visually explores the issue of climate change and its potential ramifications on plant life. She asks us:
With the continuing ecological impact of climate change, the steady deforestation of native species, and the disturbance of our global ecosystem, how will plant life adapt? Will they mutate into a new variety in order to sustain life? Will heartier plant communities swallow up more vulnerable ones and ultimately change their genetic composition?
To re-imagine these hybrids of the future, she has combined natural forms with visuals found in scientific journals and old-world imagery to create mixed media paintings that resemble oversized botanical and pseudo-scientific journal pages. Her imagined terrestrial worlds, both familiar and slightly unnerving, suggest a connection to these past scholarly works that attempted to identify, classify and illustrate plant life. Plants appear to be in motion, beckoning, pulling, propelling forward, and recoiling in fear. We are unclear of their relationships with each other, but are aware that their ecological balance is being disturbed. It is her hope that this series will educate, inspire, provoke and bring about some type of individual change in people’s stewardship of our planet.
Kirsten Stolle received her BA from Framingham State College in 1989 and studied at Kensington College, London, England and Massachusetts College of Art. Stolle’s work is in the permanent collection of the Crocker Museum of Art, Sacramento, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art as well several corporate collections. Stolle has also been included in New American Paintings. Recent residencies include Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ireland, Millay Colony for the Arts, NY, Spiro Arts Center, Park City UT, Blue Mountain Center, Blue Mountain, NY; Anderson Center for the Arts, Red Wing, MN and Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, Portland, OR. This show is supported in part by the San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grants Program through an Individual Artist Commission. This is Stolle’s third solo exhibition at the Dolby Chadwick Gallery.