A new body of work from artist Josie Morway (previously featured here). Offering a mix of hyper-realistic detail and chemically bright colours, Morway’s wildlife portraits convey both beauty and brutality. While initially striking — enticing viewers to take a closer look — the images also carrying a distinct unnaturalness, as well as slightly darker undertones that hint toward human encroachment and intrusion. As Moray explains:
“I’ve been thinking a lot about what we humans demand of – and project onto – the wild. Not only in the obvious sense of callous disrespect, the way we continue to relentlessly trample and deplete nature. Even those of us with the most reverence for nature demand so much from it… we expect it to inspire us, calm us, to symbolize us, to purify us and even to cure us. It’s a lot to ask.”
No matter how bold or finely detailed Moray’s paintings may feel, her hope is that we are left more unsettled than satisfied. Moray ultimately leans more toward the surreal than the real in an effort to displace our traditionally comfortable positions as viewers and creators of art: “I want to leave nature a bit impenetrable in order to remind us (myself included) that it’s not all about us.”
See more of Moray’s humbling work below.