Biologist E.O. Wilson coined the term biophilia in the 1980s. Literally, it means love of life or empathy with all living things. The concept has been embraced by artists, designers, and architects, who seek to recreate nature's elements in urban design to promote well-being.
Biophilic design draws on natural materials, shapes, light, and patterns to build a connection to nature within the human constructed environment to promote wellness, creativity, and productivity. For many indigenous cultures it has been an essential way of life since the beginning of time.
Biophilia is the wellspring of my abstract painting practice. As we shift into seasonal spring, a time of rebirth and renewal, my new series, The Nature of Kinship, celebrates the unsung beauty of plants and our relationship with them—they feed us, they clothe us, they heal us. They create the very oxygen we breathe.
As a long-time artist, naturalist, and gardener working to create a permaculture yard, it's taken me a lifetime to begin to scratch the surface of plants' complexities and interactions. We have much to learn from their wise ways. My paintings—swirling patterns, leafy shapes, and abstracted human forms—are a prayer of thanksgiving to life in a tangled verdant world.
By embracing the kinship of all beings and bringing biophilic design into our human-built environment we cultivate a greater sense of harmony and balance. I hope you can sense the uplifting energy of these biophilic paintings. I hope they remind you that we are not separate from nature or from each other. We are all kin. But my true wish is to inspire you and your children to seek out connection and appreciation outdoors no matter where you live.
See the Nature of Kinship series here.
Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. Her energetic, investment-quality paintings bring balance and harmony
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