Babeloania

graphite, acrylic, and newspaper on paper, 58 inches x 40 inches

SONJA PETERSON

Minneapolis, MN
sonjapete.com

I employ motifs of common, agricultural plants and animals, underground roots, spider webs, and vine-like growths of the external and internal bodily world to create hanging landscapes. Past work has focused on our agricultural industry and its effects on health and the environment. It has also explored ideas of visibility and invisibility through use of reflective materials and the shadow.

Contextual concerns and decorative motifs are intermingled in the traditional art forms
of paper cuts, collage and stencils. Suspended works’ projected shadows add to a ‘questioning of reality’ and ‘casting of doubt’ on the foreground work. The slow process of cutting visual networks is an action that fulfills a need to unravel a truth within the endless matrix of information that I negotiate in today’s world. The works structural integrity is, at times, reliant on its interconnectivity; if elements disconnect the entire system is in threat of collapse.

Symbiotic relationships, such as the shadow to the object, the balance of nature to man-made, the struggle of opposing positive and negative space in my work’s imagery, create tangential and abstract content. My current work replaces the agricultural systems’ relationship to the environment, with the global financial systems and its connection to the environment. I am looking at the global financial systems as something of untamed wonder, a gaze that was once reserved for the natural world. Nature, now often sited as contained is a constructed binary to a technological world in which many of us inhabit. The world banking system is a landscape of complexity beyond comprehension. It now replaces what nature was once recognized as, a wild frontier. I am currently working on vast networked cut paper collage and sculpture that include imagery of flora and banking architecture to question our perceptions of untamed beauty.