Press Release – The Desert Nanoscape of Saguache, Colorado – Exhibition Opening Night

You are cordially invited to the Opening Reception for The Desert Nanoscape of Saguache, Colorado by artist Geoff Williams. The Opening will take place at the NEBI Gallery, 38 High Street in Historic Westerly, Rhode Island, 7:00-9:30 pm on Friday, April 15th, 2022.  This event is the Inaugural Exhibition of the NEBI Gallery. This event is free and open to the public courtesy of the New England Biophilia Institute.

Refreshments provided and music by Joey Blue Reed, Saratoga New York.

Please visit the exhibition webpage for more information.

The Art-Science-Nature Merge

While unto itself this Exhibit is noteworthy, there is also an unusual backstory which invites you further. This is a story about art and nature-about science and nature–and the merge of art-science-and nature which teaches us about ourselves and about the unseen world around us.

Do new ways of looking give us new ways of seeing? What is the nature of natural beauty? Geoff Williams’ show presents us with a unique opportunity to observe the beauty in nature all the way down to the nanoscale in stunning black and white micrography. Through a startling convergence of themes, Geoff Williams gives us a unique and prescient message about our Earth in present times and for the future.

The portrayal of natural beauty to scale is an appeal to our native sensibilities and our affinity to nature. The Exhibit draws attention to the natural beauty in his work, and that natural beauty is present to scale, indeed to nanoscale, and present all around us.

Mr. Williams uses a scanning electron microscope the way Ansel Adams used a camera to portray natural beauty in an unmistakable range of gray tones. Mr. William’s use of the medium of microscopy allows us the occasion to step through a portal to sense and feel the awe of nature. This project presents the Art-Science-Nature Merge as a new concept which becomes another important theme of this exhibit. This merge offers a compelling message. By appealing to our native sensibilities toward Nature, our Biophilia, our sense of respect and awe for nature is enhanced and increased.

Perhaps if we, all of us, had a greater respect for our Earth, perhaps we would be inspired to help prevent its destruction. This is an appeal for help.

One of the important components of this Exhibit is education. This work portends a message to inspire people. We want to encourage students to be able to see the world in a new way. We think it is natural to want to see plants and animals in a way that no one else has ever seen. Now, we want to see them before they go away.

“If we’re stuck on this ship and it’s sinking,
Then we might as well have a parade.
Because if it’s still going to hurt in the morning,
And a better plan’s yet to get forming,
Then where’s the harm spending an evening
In manning the old barricades?”

-Frank Turner

Geoff Williams’ work is a rally cry to the old punks, the tired champions of the earth, it is beautiful, it is complex beyond our wildest imagination, and we need to all step up and man the old barricades…which further calls to mind the beauty captured by the filmmakers that did the music video for San Luis. In that video the beauty, the desert, is well documented and the images in the exhibit are all pulled directly from plants in that area. The film resonates with Mr. Williams who works to put it into even more perspective and provides a cinematic reference point for where the plants/samples were collected.

San Luis by Gregory Alan Isakov directed by Andy Mann (YouTube)

The term “Biophilia” comes from is roots Bio-meaning “life” and Philia-meaning “affinity towards” or “attraction towards”. Harvard biologist, naturalist, and Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward O. Wilson observed that since we are from nature, through millions of years of evolution, through nature itself, we have become a self-aware and cognizant species, with a deep appreciation and affinity toward Nature itself. All of it, because it is in us and through us, indeed, it is us.

Biophilia is the indication of an underlying force of Nature, exerted through its biology and its life. Biophilia is readily observable and demonstrated though our innate affinity toward life and all living organisms.  This property exists to scale from the molecular to the ecosystem. We see beauty in nature at every level, and we are drawn to it.

The Scanning electron microscope is a bridge creating an Art-Science-Nature merge. It is at once a tool with an intense ability to not only generate scientific data, but to also draw the viewer into an innately and deeply familiar beauty.

The work by Mr. Williams so wonderfully shows that the inherent beauty in Nature is to scale, always there, and where the most beautiful experience is the experience of the mysterious. Mr. Williams takes us to a world where solely with the dynamics of the images, we experience a deep familiarity with natural beauty and then open up to the wonders of the unseen.

Mr. Williams’ works also give us an indication into our world in Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance. The earth is burning. The magnitude and rate of habitat destruction is appalling. We are in the planet’s sixth major mass extinction. There are daily massive losses in biodiversity. The climate is changing rapidly now, and more dramatically. Water is becoming limiting. The Desert Nanoscape of Saguache, Colorado speaks to us with a prophetic beauty.

The NEBI Gallery
The New England Biophilia Institute

For more information:

Monika Agnello
Creative Director
The NEBI Gallery
38 High Street
Westerly, RI 02891