Nature as Sanctuary — Animals as Spirit Guides
In these works nature is reduced by an unwavering focus of the artist to a single form, the embodiment of nature in her most pristine and precise state. Nature is reconstituted in an authentic way, where the sublime is stunning in its accessibility. We’re asked in these works to find refuge in their orchestration of light and form, but not alone. Spirit guides and helpers inhabit and, furthermore, navigate these environments, reassuring even uplifting us in their roles as masters of these domains. Their presence transforms their locales into sanctuaries, beyond idleness and repose into emotion, inviting us to activate the most engaged aspects of our attention. Stella Zee’s paintings steer clear of romanticizing nature as some lost Eden for our salvation. Instead, she advocates a different model in which we avail ourselves to a new vision of nature with an ever-present set of potentialities that exist inside each of us.
by Christopher Bowen