All rights reserved © 2017 by Julie Maren

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I create flexible and adaptive “Biophilia” wall-sculpture/ installations out of acorn tops filled with paint and other material, mounted on brass rods. Appearing as bouncing dots of color, projected at different depths on the wall, these multi-dimensional “paintings” play with shape, color theory, microscopic and macroscopic perspectives—and transform with light and shadow.


Biophilia is a metaphor for humanity. Each Biophilia (acorn top filled with material) represents the individual and his/her/their inherent beauty—complete on its own. A group of Biophilia represents community as a whole. Acorns, as seeds, are symbols of growth and unlimited potential. Just as one seed can grow into a massive oak that can in turn plant a whole forest; the acorn teaches us about our own potential and what/ how/ who we share with the world. Biophilia provides a reminder of this relationship and our interconnectedness with our larger community.


These wall-sculptures emerged from a desire to take my paintings out of the confines of traditional square and rectangular canvases. I found paint filled acorn tops to be the perfect vehicle to transcend the omnipresent dot patterns in my paintings, indicative of space and time—and transform them into expansive, multi-dimensional murmurations of color and shadow, like coordinates on a three-dimensional grid.


The Biophilia are filled with paint and reflective materials including mica, glass and crystals. The combination of the natural acorn tops filled with synthetic materials feels simultaneously familiar yet mysterious. I like using florescent and intense colors because it feels like I am reanimating the “dead” shells that nature has discarded, into new seductive organisms which appear to glow from within. Nature informs the palettes and biomorphic patterns of each installation—from the microscopic world of bioluminescent organisms on a beach to the macrocosm of star galaxies above.