"Grizzled" - Self-Portrait

Aristotle wrote that in all animals there is something marvelous and beautiful and they deserve to be studied and cherished. It is with this belief that I make art.

Although my work preoccupies itself with misunderstood or often loathed members of the animal kingdom, it is what St. Thomas Aquinas called “an influx of delight”, that I hope to convey in that context. From the ashes of their wretched situations - losing their homes and their numbers - animals struggle to survive and flourish. Through close character studies, interwoven with dream landscapes and surreal environments, I hope to tweak these animal stories, showing their capacity for resilience, surprise, disturbance and delight, the very emotions I hope to evoke in viewers.

My work is informed and inspired by historical depictions of the natural world, like that of Ernst Haeckel and Maria Sibylla Merian, the Fauvists, Catholic iconography, and personal attachment to my subject matter. I relate to the individual animals I study.

Art cannot change the devastating reality that we are draining the Earth of biodiversity, but it can most certainly change the way we feel about it. Perhaps it is counterintuitive to suggest that through delight, we can influence the fate of our world. But in my life, the delight I’ve drawn from nature, has pushed me to dedicate myself to conserving it, a message I hope to convey through my artistic practice and the work it produces.

Special homage to my mentor, Katharine McKenna, who taught me not to be afraid of color, and to my late beloved friend and greatest champion, the artist Mary Fussell.

© Penelope Bodry-Sanders. All Rights Reserved
Website:: ArtSource Studio