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Sculpture Tucson. Throughout the 1980s, I worked as a Native Plant Specialist (cactus cop) for the Arizona Department Of Agriculture. I enforced the Endangered Species Act for threatened, rare and endangered plants in Arizona. This resulted in my appreciation for the aesthetic diversity of cactus and succulents.   

In 2001 I photographed a saguaro cactus at night from an overhead perspective. After numerous failed attempts, I was able to align the spines of the plant in such a way that it’s symmetry was revealed. The resulting pattern resembles a snowflake. 

Recently I began thinking about other structural similarities found in nature. For example, the comparative pattern of a spiral galaxy and a spiral tubercle and spine pattern of a cactus. This interest inspired me to return to photographing cactus with an intent of isolating the plant in black background for the purpose of highlighting it’s bio-symmetry. I want to make a photo that illustrates a close-up intimacy with the plant. The paradox in this is that the cactus, by its own spiny nature, defies intimacy.

As I developed my methods of exaggerating the symmetry I realized that they were essentially“ Digital hybrids” of the original natural composition.

The cactus in particular,seem intrinsically suited to bridge natural selection and modern design. Cacti are so remarkable in their symmetry that it is difficult to believe they are living things.  I’m endlessly fascinated by these expressions of nature.

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