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Bio Forms

"Rebecca Alston's evolution as an artist may seem radical, but has been consistent throughout with her interest in extra-artistic — notably scientific — issues. Hers is a restless, inquisitive sensibility, eager to understand the universe from all vantages, from the compilation of mathematical data to the aesthetic appreciation of natural form. If artists have marveled throughout history at natural beauty, Alston finds new beauty in nature by following the footsteps of scientific inquiry; for her, the telescope and microscope, the data graph and the spectral scale are no less artistic tools than are the pencil and the paintbrush.

Alston's recent shift in scientific focus, from physics. t o biology, has yielded the ongoing "Bio Forms" series. This series has itself shifted focus, from the poetry of micro-macrocosmic relationships to the usual metaphor of ecoststemic sustenance. As she turns her attention to this vital and continually newsworthy subject, logically enough, Alston's work takes on a social and political resonance. Most recently, the Mississippi native found herself responding on a personal level to geo-ecological events with the oil-leak disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The message in Alston's current work, however, is that a disruption in the ecosystem hits everyone at home."

Peter Frank

August 2011

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