ana macarthur
My work represents a 30 year journey in pursuit of the alchemical nature of light... an urge to plumb the depths of this elusive electromagnetic energy and its transformative properties. This fascination and dialogue has stretched from an awareness early on of my phototropic behavior as a child... to years later a deep engagement with the textured intelligence of coherent laser light and its relevance back to the sun. For years I have been compelled due to light being considered one of the great mysteries... as we still do not know, in essence, what it is. Interwoven conceptually with the physics of light, subthemes... of photobiology, energy generation, references to ancient Persian/Mughal culture, and a commitment to deep ecology re-occur in my work. There is an interrelationship between my consistent use of light as both subject matter and medium and the following of a deep ecology perspective. Early work was pre-occupied with "light as a means to look inside". I considered "light as an extension of the hand".... where one travels with light, one can touch with the eye.

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It was my involvement with holography, starting in 1983, which deepened my understanding of this informed body of energy. With this immersion deep into the physics of light, I was in effect looking into the "inside of light itself". My draw to the luminous information of holograms was not the reproduction of something photographically, or into 3D, but the nanoscopic choreography of visible radiation, and generated solely by light. The fascination with its ability as a medium to ingeniously perform a wide range of optical skills that then become a language within my work. Specific works utilized light's wavelength to magnify the micro-subtle and intangible, by using "real time interferometry" and thus revealing otherwise imperceptible nanoscopic changes. Its the texture of sunlight that compels... it imprints all that it touches,... but all that is touched by it yields a unique fingerprint in light. I am intrigued by the immaterial beauty and nature of this visible and near visible energy, but more so by the resultant concrete effect of sunlight on organisms.

My interdisciplinary process-oriented works yield installations, sculpture, holograms, drawings, and larger site oriented, interactive projects. This range of outcomes consistently utilize a foray of light responsive mediums, in a choice of media that best engages the questions.
My works have entailed pioneering into new technical arenas. Many of the holographic works and components have involved inventing new methods to capture the nano sensitive micro-terrain that plays back light.

My most recent body of work consuming the last three years is an extensive project involving the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil. It encompasses many layers of concepts built via my work with light in these past series of years. This photosynthetically abundant bioregion has inspired a deeper look into a place on the planet bathed by rich equatorial sunlight.