2019 Series: Natural Technology

Introduction and presentation of the works

Since april 2019 I’m recurrently working on the series “Natural Technology”, which relies on the structure of the material world as its source of inspiration. The works of this series seek to broaden the perception through artistic reinterpretation and visualisation of the invisible laws whose patterns underlie the matter.

In course of creation, studies of inner organs, muscles and bones in front of accurate wax patterns were made; medical equipment was composed anew; the forms of animals and plants were examined and works of old masters were interpreted. Because of its significant effects on processes within nature, environmental pollution remained also part of the topic.

The series “Natural Technology” includes as a small group of paintings – “Cyborgs”, which were created especially for the exhibition at the XII Biennale Florence 2019.

Natural Technology

Natural Technology – Cyborgs

Subject

Inspired by the studies of Leonardo Da Vinci concerning the natural and hence derived technical forms and their principles, through availing myself of the same method – the observation of nature – I wanted to become acquainted with the composition and functionality of the human body.

In the course of my anatomic studies in front of true-to-life wax patterns in the Josephinum Vienna I developed a better understanding for the human organism as a product of the natural development and adaptation, as well as his relationship with living organisms on our planet.

At the same time the question of differentiation of the human beneath all the other forms of life and the peculiarity of his characteristics as self-conscious thinking, experiencing, remembering and creative being appeared.

Out of this considerations results the concentration on the plane of abstraction, ideas and consciousness, which essentially features the human being; also the searching for the energetic marrow began, which forms the basis of the human nature and the nature of all living.

As Heraclitus already taught, one can never step twice into the same river, all living is finding itself in the process of evolving and decreasing, this implies an abiding movement, permanent breathing, flowing until the energy exhausts itself, abandons the old form and alters to a new one. The energy channels are cognizable with an expert eye: ancient Chinese doctors were already able to examine the meridians and fine lines of the energetic streams of the body.

In nature we can observe recurrent forms: stars, spirals, ellipses, perfect structured, infinite variable mandalas of the snowflakes, mandalas occur also during the visualisation of sound; fractals, crystalline formations, which nature seems to produce unlaboured. The art creatives and scientists on the other hand have to decrypt those figures arduously in the effort of re-enacting. The nature however isn’t able to disobey the rules which are at the bottom of its building – sometimes they seem random because too complicated, but also systematic ascertainable.

Alike the alchemists in former times which were searching for the Holy Grail – the formula, which is able to merge and subsume all natural principles, I felt during my anatomical studies a comparable inspiration for detecting the interrelations between the human being and nature, consciousness and technology and depicting the corresponding ideas on canvas.

Leonardo da Vinci has directed, subsequently to the ancient tradition, the attention of the world towards the device of proportions; foregoing Plato has referred to the mathematical components of nature in his platonic bodies. Following related thoughts I would like to guide the attention of the contemplator towards a plane which juts out of the bare observation of ordinary material forms and which builds a bridge towards a method of approaching the connectivity of all living, including our planet similarly understood as a living organism.

According to the conceptions of Carl Gustav Jung, some of the paintings of the series may be seen as archetypical. They represent particular states of cognition and imply numerous scopes of meaning and interpretation. Hereafter the reader finds some proposal lines of thoughts and he is welcome to search for his own conclusions.

life touch Katharina Teresidi
Life Touch, acrylic and crayon on canvas, 90 x 120 cm, 2019

Reminding of Michelangelo’s fresco “The Creation Of Adam”, while keeping Leonardo da Vinci’s “John the Baptist” at the back of mind, who points upwards to the unseen, unspoken, into unknown heights, the painting “Life Touch” arises, which recalls the transience of the material world, as well as the subordination of life to concrete laws, which are emblematised through the spiral structure of the golden sunflower in the background of the light side of the painting.

life touch detail1 Katharina Teresidi
Life Touch, detail

Studies inside the Josephinum Vienna

The Josephinum is the most prominent example of neoclassical architecture in Vienna and an important legacy of the Age of Enlightenment in Austria. It was founded in 1785 by Emperor Joseph II as a medico-surgical military academy to train prospective doctors and midwives for civil and military service according to novel teaching methods.

Amongst numerous other collections, the Josephinum houses the world-renowned collection of nearly 1200 anatomical wax models commissioned by Joseph II in Florence for the newly established academy, as well as the historical library with scripts and volumes from the 15th to the 18th century.

The Josephinum is the historical gateway to the Medical University of Vienna and remains to date an important place for teaching, research and the exchange of ideas.

Source: http://www.josephinum.ac.at/en/josephinum/

During my studies in the Josephinum I recognised that every angling, every curvature, thickening and curve of the bone, every single tendon in the human body fulfills its own function, none part is superfluous, everything is perfect constructed to ensure the best functionality.

If we examine our Earth as a living and working ecosystem, which bears and preserves life, which shifts and ever transforms, passes through various chemical processes, it seems likely to account it like a living organism.

In the case that nothing in nature is dispensable, if dependences exist while minor deviations from the norm can cause a chain reaction of processes which can transform whole ecosystems, the thought of drilling for petroleum with successional pumping of chemicals under the earth crust, as well as the blowing out of burned chemicals into the atmosphere seems absurd, if we consider that the humanity knows relatively little abut the features of mineral oil seas, which are largely seen as deposit out of decay processes and which are bereft any kind of other functionality.

This thought provoked the origination of the painting “Peak Oil”, which depicts the dependency of technology from the natural ressource, in which the oil, likewise the blood of the earth, brings the heart of our civilisation to beat.

peak oil Katharina Teresidi
Peak Oil, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 90 cm, 2019
peak oil detail2 Katharina Teresidi

“Lycoris Radiata” ist called the “Red Spider Lilly”.
It originates from old China and populated in ancient times
Japan and the rest of Asia. In the Japanese and Chinese cultures
this flower has a special prominence.

The red spider lilly is also called “the flower of the other shore”,
or “the paradise flower”.
In Japan it is also known as the equinox-flower, whereat it got
the byname “flower of the dead”.
It is said that the flower blooms 3 days before and after the
equinox, a period which is seen as the “entrance to other side”.

I is said that in the underworld exists a river, the oblivion river,
likewise as the river Styx in the Greek mythology.
When the dead want to traverse this river to reach the other shore,
they lose all their memories of their past lives.
At the other shore the red spider lilies bloom.
The legend tells that the scent of the beautiful flowers bring back
all the lovely memories for the last time, before the dead disappear on the other side.

Source: https://www.akaichou.de/thread.php?postid=46212

red spider lillies, Rote Spinnenlillien Katharina Teresidi
Red Spider Lilies, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 90 cm, 2019
red spider lilies, Rote Spinnenlillien Detail
Red Spider Lilies, detail
detail red spider lilies, Rote Spinnenlillien, Katharina Teresidi
Red Spider Lilies, detail

Hearts

The series of hearts were developed in the course of devoting my attention to the inner organs of the human body. The painting “From The Depth2” was presented at the opening of the gallery Daliko in Krems at the end of May 2019, as well as at the XIIth Biennale Florence in October 2019.

from the depth2, Katharina Teresidi, Aus den Tiefen2
From The Depth2, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 50 cm
from the depth2 deail Katharina Teresidi, Aus den Tiefen2
From The Depth2, detail
heart1 Katharina Teresidi
Heart1, acrylic on canvas, 50 c 50 cm, 2019
heart1_detail Katharina Teresidi
Heart1 detail
heart3 - instrument Katharina Teresidi
Heart3 – Instrument, acrylic on canvas, 50 c 50 cm, 2019
heart3 - instrument detail
Heart3 – Instrument detail

Foregoing studies and sketches, details

mind, Katharina Teresidi
“Abstraction”, detail, 120 x 90 cm, acrylic and red chalk on canvas, 2019
natural technology sketch1 Katharina Teresidi life touch
sketch for the painting Life Touch, detail
natural technology sketch 2 sunflower Katharina Teresidi
sketch of a sunflower for the painting Life Touch, detail
sketch3 natural technology Katharina Teresidi life touch
sketch for the painting Life Touch, detail, pencil on paper
skeich5 Katharina Teresidi_life touch
sketch for the painting Life Touch, detail, pencil on paper
sketch6_red spider lilies_Katharina Teresidi
searching for the right position of the body for the painting Red Spider Lilies, detail, pencil on paper
sketch8_main series_Katharina Teresidi
experimenting with diverse sketches
sketch9_natural technology_Katharina Teresidi

7 Comments

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    • Dear Megalith, the topic is broad and complicated and I can’t claim to understand it. I’m scratching the surface and the more information I discover, the more questions appear. As an artist I’m trying to depict my way towards or the attempt to approximate the nature of being. I’m wondering if the human mind is generally able to grasp the construction of our world. As you truthful say – the topic is very complex and broad. But this also means that it contains a lot of creative potential which awaits to be unfold 🙂

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