Michelle Anderst is a Seattle-based fine artist and scientific illustrator whose paintings of biological structures serve as both works of art as well as aesthetic statements on ecological consciousness in the modern world. Through her use of sacred geometry, vibrant colors and organic subject matter, such as bees, fungi, and coral, Anderst creates unique microcosms of the greater natural world, illustrating the interdependence of all living things, no matter how seemingly small or distantly related. Many of her paintings revolve around the exploration of the hive mind and the various ways in which humans and animal species co-create in a delicate dance of internal and external evolution.
“When drawing a significant amount of inspiration from the ecosystem, one cannot escape the issue of sustainability. This subject in particular plays a major factor in my intrigue for the role fungi plays in nature. I am constantly gleaning information about micro climates and the specialized species they contain which are inextricably interconnected. All sources of energy along with every drop of water is utilized to its full potential through infinite variations of species who use a variety a different shapes to accomplish this task.
After realizing the extent of these connections I had a thought. Since we as humans are creating and disposing of so much plastic, the possibility exists for some kind of microbe to evolve and make use of it. There cannot be such an available food resource without some species taking advantage of it. You can imagine my excitement when a friend informed me a few months later that a team of students from Yale had discovered a species of fungus capable of breaking down polyurethane plastic. The amount of waste we create is one example of how I find our growing separation from nature deeply disturbing. I believe we can draw inspiration from the processes and structures in nature to build and harness resources more efficiently so we may live in harmony with our surroundings.” – Michelle Anderst (Juxtapoz)