St. Mary's Projects in Studio Art:

Samantha Nickey / SMP 2012

Draw of Light: Transformation Taking Form

During my SMP, examining such a small, seemingly insignificant creature as a moth has made the divide between life and death more ambiguous.  Each piece in my Luna/Sol series represents an intermediary state of change, pushing and pulling from the light that summons it.  Though my earlier work also concentrated on the ambiguity of life and death, instead of focusing on natural light’s relationship to obscuring these boundaries, the work focuses on artificial light. 

Moth’s circle artificial light because they naturally navigate by moonlight, so their distraction is representative of following a false path on a journey.  The tragedy of moth’s death from light is possibly a result of innocence or possibly a result of ignorance, but either way it is self-destructive.  In observing moth’s attraction to artificial light, I wrote in my journal,

“The light is merciless, deceptive, man-made.  It does nothing but tempt and distract, and ironically, as it lights, it allows the human viewer to take witness. I look at the lights in my art studio and despite my uneasiness of fluttering moths, my uneasiness of even death itself, there is a constant bug funeral hanging above my head to which I am completely indifferent.  From this distance their bodies look like abstract patterns or stars.”