Headlands Beach Steel Pipe Bend
UV print on vinyl, steel pipe
58 × 42 × 16 in
The relationship between humanity and nature is complicated. Like everything we love, we strive to understand nature, imitate it, and exalt it; but then inevitably we also try to possess it, capture it, control it and exploit it, causing us sometimes to destroy it. Letha Wilson is perfectly suited to explore this odd relationship. She was born in Hawaii, one of the most idyllic natural settings in the world, and also one of the most tenuously developed. While she was still young her family moved to Colorado, an equally beautiful natural setting, and one equally imperiled by human encroachment. As a child she would go on extended hikes from the city into the wilderness, treading paths usually limited to wild creatures. Into the woods she brought her civilized mind: its structures, habits, methods and means. She returned with hints of alternative structures, natural methods, ancient habits, and primitive means. Like any modern person she took photographs of the landscapes she visited. But as an artist Wilson questioned what value such manufactured images have. Now living and working in Brooklyn, she is engaged in an increasingly succinct investigation of the ways human culture collaborates and competes with the natural world. Through a mix of photography, sculpture and installation, Wilson examines the relationships between false images and physical realities; the dependence between production, consumption and waste; the interplay between manufactured and natural forms; and the evolution of the ways human architecture blends with the outside world.