Exploring motifs from ancient architecture and the animal kingdom
Clark Rendall's piece Serpent has been exhibited in After Nature, a thematic group exhibition inspired by conversations about the blurring of the line between what is considered natural, and what is considered unnatural. The exhibition took place at the Gallery of Artworks Downtown in San Rafael, California.
Curator Sharon Bliss, Interim Director at Fine Arts Gallery, San Francisco State University presented the works: "There is a rich history of artists working in nature and with scientific research specimens to render animals, insects and plants in all of their diverse splendor. Let’s call this the natural. We are also at a point in time where nature is inseparable from human influence–we have entered the geographic footprint and forever changed ecosystems, the landscape and the climate–leaving the nonhuman life of the planet to respond and adapt, or perish. This is where the line begins to blur. Seeking to present both a catalog of living things, and to reflect upon the future of “natural” development in the Anthropocene Epoch, After Nature’s intent is to explore, in equal parts, traditions of “capturing nature” through means such as photography and still life painting, evaluate the current response of nature to humans, and consider what may yet be to come."
Rendall's Serpent is part of his Kingdom series which explores motifs from ancient architecture and the animal kingdom. He explains: "The series addresses our tendency to choose sides and organize around symbols. Heroes and villains, gods and monsters — who do we align ourselves with, and who do we oppose? Our allies or our enemies — the walls we build around ourselves and between each other are sometimes fraught with meaning, but often more arbitrary than we would like to believe. I am often tempted to look to the natural world as a model for how humans should interact, but even in nature, there is just as much conflict as there is cooperation."
Artist and sustainable design expert, Clark Rendall moved from New York to San Francisco to work on new environmental projects and continues to develop his career in the arts. His new upcoming series will explore the intersection of ecology, aesthetics, and the built environment. His two-dimensional work is based on motifs from nature, architecture, and ancient civilizations, while his immersive public works often engage with natural elements such as sunlight, water, and wind. Through demonstrating an interaction between the natural and built environment, he hopes to encourage a culture of ecological awareness, and greater understanding of our relationship with natural systems and other living things.