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Detail, Snail, Butterfly & Courlan Bird Visit Portugal, 2007, mixed media on panel, 12" x 12" x 1.5"

Layers of meaning:
I layer images that reference geographic place, nature and architecture.  I am interested in why we attach meaning to animals or symbols at a certain time and have the ability (sophistication) to attach different meanings as we age, as we travel through life and change.  Our experiences can alter our perception in hindsight of an event or symbol or place.  This may be a subtle change that occurs slowly over time not unlike the gentle layering of sand and silt in the ocean.  

Animals:
I’ve spent quite a lot of time walking in forests and near water, watching animals and insects, fish and birds, noticing how we are alike and how we differ from animals.  Why do various cultures choose certain animals to accompany us on our journey as pets, as totems, as food, as entertainment?  Do we experience animals as the “other” or as ourselves?

Architecture:
I photograph architectural spaces and landscapes that lead or invite us, such as a repetition of arches or windows, open doors and gates, shrines set out in nature and long corridors of planted trees.  

I’m interested in how “man-made” space affects us and how our experience is different in the natural landscape.

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all artwork copyright © Melissa Wood