Ashley Cecil, Augustina Droze and Deirdre Murphy Explore Emergent Patterns of Collective Behavior

June 18, 2016

The exhibition Emergent Patterns brings together three American artists - Ashley Cecil, Augustina Droze and Deirdre Murphy, who join forces to examine the relationship between humans and nature through various forms of expression. The spectators will be able to enjoy a collection of paintings, sculptures and textile works, all of which relate to the concept of wise conservation in different ways, specifically focusing on the importance and the precious ecological value of birds. To a great extent, the show celebrates the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which recognized this value almost a century ago. All of the three authors involved approach the subject individually, from different perspectives.

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Ashley Cecil - Common Starlings On Purple

Connection between the Artists

The interrelatedness is expressed through a shared interest in the natural, as opposed to the Anthropocene, while reflecting on the patterns of collective behavior, compared to that of flocks of birds. Ashley Cecil confronts depictions of diverse plants and birds with geometric graphics reminiscent of Victorian textiles, which embodies the idea of the human-nature relationship. Then, there’s the unique, visually rich and somewhat emblematic aesthetics of Augustina Droze’s paintings, most of which illustrate birds, fish and other animals arranged into mandala-like structures. The third participating artist, Deirdre Murphy, combines abstract shapes with patterns found in nature, in order to give shape to the energy she manages to discern and to create captivating landscapes.

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Augustina Droze - Landscape

Man and Nature in the Modern Times

One of the main issues that triggered the inauguration of the show is man’s shifty relationship with nature, that is likely to undergo many changes in future as well. The contemporary times change the way we communicate with each other, thanks to the development of technology and the emergence of social networks. The consequence could turn out to be both productive and counter-productive, in a sense that it could make us estranged, but it might as well alert our conscience, and remind us of the importance of unity and collectiveness. The exhibition aims to regard the latter, providing a positive outlook on the days to come and the future of the world.

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Left: Deirdre Murphy - Spontaneous Order / Right: Deirdre Murphy - Spring Jewel

Ashley Cecil, Augustina Droze and Deirdre Murphy in an Ecologically Aware Show

Prior to this exhibition, each of the artists delved into extensive research to find the facts and to build impressions related to their line of inquiry. Cecil partnered with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the National Aviary, and Phipps Conservatory last year, in order to inform her work as thoroughly as possible. Droze traveled to Colombia to reflect on ecofeminism, a recurring subject in her work, through collaboration with local institutions. Finally, Murphy completed a residency this April, during which the artist examined long-term data related to migratory birds. She later used this data to create her idiosyncratic visual amalgams.

Ashley Cecil, Augustina Droze, and Deirdre Murphy: Emergent Patterns will be on display at BoxHeart Gallery in Pittsburgh, USA, from November 15th through January 6th. The opening reception is free and open to the public, and will be held in attendance of the artists on November 19th from 5 to 8 PM.

Featured images in slider: Deirdre Murphy portrait; Ashley Cecil portrait; Augustina Droze portrait. All images courtesy of BoxHeart Gallery.

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