For the past 10 years, Patterson Clark's artwork has been dedicated to developing a complete sustainable system for creating art utilizing non-native plants he harvests from the environment in which he works. This project, which he calls "Alienweeds," began from his desire to restore a measure of balance between the native and non-native plants growing nearby his home in Whitehaven Park in Washington, D.C.
Clark uses aspects of these plants to create papers, inks, brushes, pens, printing blocks, and cordage, finally resulting in playful prints which document the amount of labor and materials used in his meticulous processes. Clark is also a visual journalist: in 2009 he created the column "Urban Jungle" for the Washington Post. Each week, Clark highlights a particular aspect of the urban ecosystem in text and illustrations, incorporating the research of scientists he interviews and cites.
The selection committee suggested that by spending time with BES scientists as an Artist-in-Residence, Clark can be a potential conduit for wider exposure of BES research. In addition, we hope his involvement in BES will stimulate the social and natural scientists, and the educators in the project to explore new avenues and stimuli of creativity.
His work, featured in national media outlets, is explored and sampled in the web links below:
Clark will participate in the April 11 BES Quarterly Project Meeting, focusing on past, current, and future interactions of science and art in BES, to be held at the USGS building. Follow this link http://bes-news.blogspot.com/2013/04/bes-quarterly-project-meeting-11-april.html for more information, including the agenda of the meeting. He will also attend a reception at the University of Maryland Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture (CADVC) from 5:30 to 7:30 that day. Refreshments will be served, and the event is designed to stimulate communication between researchers and artists. The BES community is heartily welcomed to this event.
Also in attendance will be Lynn Cazabon, BES's first Artist-In-Residence, whose work has been highlighted elsewhere in this web log: http://besdirector.blogspot.com/2012/08/lynn-cazabon-bess-first-artist-in.html Lynn was featured in an exhibit of art linked to LTER sites that has been mounted at the headquarters of the National Science Foundation (http://www.ecologicalreflections.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/02/LTER-art-brochure-2013-2.pdf).
Please come to these events and help us explore the richness of connections between art and science in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, Long-Term Ecological Research project.