Are you ready to be transported to a parallel universe? A playful abstraction through the representational drawings of Cassidy Waters, where she uses vegetable stamps to create a base for her intuitive artwork. These stamps represent microbes, the subject of her current series Microbial Animism. Are you wondering what microbial is? They simply are organisms that are not visible to the naked eye. Let’s read what the Artist, Cassidy Waters feels about the Microbial Universe and how it inspired her to create her artworks, in our Biosphere special edit.
Cassidy waters consider herself a member of the incomprehensible system of life that inspired her current series, Microbial Animism. She has been reading about microbiology and the role bacteria have within her own body. This led her to question her autonomy since bacteria may influence her decision-making, sociability, and the way she is perceived by others.
Cassidy pursued her current series by representing microbes with potato stamps. The water content of potatoes creates tiny swirly canyons when pressed onto a canvas that contrasted with the linear marks made by her brushstrokes. Cassidy built her paintings around these initial stamps, creating a disorder she reacts to instinctively. Thus, she feels the process reflects the consuming questions, “What am I and what are other living things? Where do I start and where do they stop? Who is making the moves?”.
What am I and what are other living things? Where do I start and where do they stop? Who is making the moves?
I can trace my art background to having a lot of unstructured time as a kid. Being home-schooled, I was given the freedom to spend time drawing and pursuing my interests as they came and went. My creative energy was fueled by this d-i-y attitude. At 16, I cut my schooling short to travel with a food truck and kept sketchbooks with me to record my explorations.
In 2019, I began studying academic art at an atelier program in Montana. At the time, I was living in an RV and moved every couple of months for seasonal work. This lifestyle allowed me to study with many different artists for a few months at a time and kept my personal experiences diverse. I lived in national parks and cities, worked as both a housekeeper and an art model, and studied with photo-realist painters and abstract sculptors. I moved to Chicago in 2021 to paint live models at The Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Art where I currently instruct drawing and painting workshops.
I seek an exchange between my conscious mind and the workings of my body unknown to me. I instinctively stamp vegetables to construct a composition before painting figures into the scene. Contrasted with elements of realism, this invitation to the unexpected is reflective of my search for both autonomy and connectedness in the natural world. The figures in my paintings are fractured by spatial distortion in addition to the organic patterns made by vegetable printing.
While I balance representational drawing and playful abstraction, shadows beneath a chin appear as people in a boat, elbows become rhinos and fishing lures dangle in folds of fabric.
I use techniques developed by cubists and draw from contemporary figurative artists like Jenny Saville who multiply form to describe movement and time. Much like Max Ernst’s natural history series, my technique employs organic textures and filters them through my own subconscious associations. While I balance representational drawing and playful abstraction, shadows beneath a chin appear as people in a boat, elbows become rhinos and fishing lures dangle in folds of fabric.
Through my process, I engage with both the disadvantage and inevitability of assumption. I see familiar forms as strange and other and place importance on the recognition of mystery. In today’s technological age, the guise of omnipotence disseminates life’s greatest assets. Innovators have a duty to preserve the limitless stores of information contained within beings with millions of years of data in their DNA. The preservation of strangeness is the preservation of self.
I hope you enjoyed the journey to the parallel universe created by the artist Cassidy Waters. If this caught your interest and would want to explore more then you can head over to read the article about investigating spirituality, the afterlife, and death with the artist Kim Gromoll, https://artstoheartsproject.com/investigating-spirituality-afterlife-and-death-mediums-w-kim-gromoll/
Read more about Cassidy Waters