From my early childhood through my adult life, I have spent many hours outside working in the yard with plants, hiking and camping in national forests, and exploring foreign cities. I observed there is much beauty and detail within the physical world we pass by every day and never notice. The incredible patterns, lines, shapes, and textures defining our environment have become a primary basis for my Biomimicry series, drawing attention to parallels between natural and man-made objects. Items found on the beach such as seashells, upon closer inspection, have similar lines and structures to staircases. Conical shells follow the vortex curve of spiral steps, while clam and scallop shells mimic the repetitive pattern and curves of a grand staircase.


Incorporating field notes and photographs together with imagination, layering, and unusual combinations, my work highlights less obvious relationships into a seamless composition to force a visual comparison. Each piece tells a story using various perspectives from microscopic to the panoramic. Manipulating visual information from my life experiences and study in nature is the starting point. Each layer of an image becomes more abstract focusing on line, shape, and texture to make a cohesive visual contrast.


Through intaglio printing, monoprinting, and book art, I create a window into the similarities often overlooked. The process of drawing and tracing the images over and over allows my eye to focus on the connections between the natural and man-made objects. Through the progression of re-drawing I simplify and compare attributes such as leaves and boats, both of which have bilateral symmetry and strong rib structures. In the sequence of printing layers of colors the man-made and natural objects begin to converge illuminating the comparison.

© Lynda Kusuma 2017

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