Seed studies

October 2023, Austin, TX

All these seeds are Texas Mountain Laurel Seeds, also known as Mezcal Seeds. One can appreciate many of their physical qualities; smoothness, hardness, form, as well as its significance to many people who lived in this region we now call Central Texas. These works, however, are solely focused on the seed's color. The core of my attraction to them has been a curiosity; If these seeds mostly exist inside pods and only germinate in soil-bound darkness, and offer no nutritional value to any animal (they’re actually extremely poisonous), then why would the plant take the time and energy to create a seed that is so damn beautiful? With such a range of colors? I can’t help but see it as a gesture of beauty, for beauty’s sake.

The extremes of these colors are rare. I will find one bright yellow or dark purple seed for every 200 orange and red ones that fall in between. I paired each seed with a paint color that used the opposite color photoreceptors in the retina. AKA contrast. These colors are not perfectly complementary, but I prefer eyeballing to calculating because it really makes me think more deeply about what I am actually seeing. I was thinking of Albers, Rothco, and my personal favorite, the recently deceased Robert Irwin. These folks used color as a way of playing with vision, and in turn revealing the nature of vision itself to the viewer. I am dabbling in a similar approach here.

I encourage the viewer to look at the work from above. Let yourself forget what you are looking at, and just see.