Fort Wayne artist Jerrod Tobias continues his exploration of the figure, the natural world, and their complex relationship through the exhibition Seeds of Symbiosis.
The artist states:
"This body of work continues an inquiry into agrarian traditions. Through a variety of drawing and painting processes, I strive to reveal rhythms and patterns found in nature. These harmonies with natural living systems offer a glimpse into a symbiotic relationship between man and nature. These 'seeds of symbiosis' seek to preserve the wisdom of the past while searching for economic and agricultural sustainability in the present."
Seeds of Symbiosis is an offering of paintings and drawings that invite the viewer to consider their relationship to the web of life. These works illustrate recognition of the inner connected nature of all things. Themes from agrarian culture converge with contemporary notions of reclaiming a sense of rhythm with nature. This notion of symbiotic relationships within the web of life reflects a sense of urgency for humanity to re-evaluate their destructive culture.
Cultural traditions of storytelling, homesteading, and community building support the critical significance of relationships. The true essence of our lives is defined by our connections with a variety of systems and structures. We define our identities through our actions in daily life. It has become terribly obvious that the status quo of modern civilization is neither sustainable nor rewarding. It is the role of artists and storytellers to communicate the zeitgeist of a cultural metamorphosis. Through preservation of folk traditions and progress in sustainable innovation, we begin to rewrite the narrative of our time.
Drawing is the foundation for my creative process. It offers me an immediate channel to record ideas and experiences. I take a pen and paper everywhere I go. These casual sketches can then be further developed into stencils, gallery pieces, and wheat pastes. The most recent works on paper offer a variety of opportunity for display, public or private. Making the work accessible to the general public continues to be a greater priority. Our daily lives are bombarded with advertising. Fine art and street art can be experienced through that same public interface.
Much of the materials that are used to create these pieces are reclaimed or recycled. The lumber and panels are scavenged from old barns and dumpsters. Paper is cut to size and pasted to the panels. Paper offers versatility in the layering of mediums. Mixed media pieces allow for interplay of various materials to form visual relationships. Many of the images that I use are photos of friends and family, or appropriated from old books. The tessellations are a visual metaphor for the rhythms and patterns found in nature.
This process of combining traditions of drawing, painting, and printmaking are in an attempt to develop a visual language that encompasses preservation and progress.