Courtney Egan, Extinct in the Wild, 2020, 4k digital video, silent dimensions variable
Gallery Walk and Reception
Sunday, April 16 | 2 – 4 p.m.
Included with admission and free for members
Courtney Egan is a lens-based media artist, photographer and naturalist who weaves the tradition of botanical art with sculpture and digital technologies, creating otherworldly projections that can interact with architecture and sculptural elements. Strongly inspired by the profusion of urban flora in New Orleans where she has lived, worked, and taught since 1991, Courtney’s artworks reflect broad concerns about the relationship between human life and the plant world.
Her work digitally manipulates the natural world, questioning how our perception of nature is augmented by technology. Egan creates animated collages that merge time-lapse photography with digital image manipulation, creating realistic yet subtly impossible arrangements. Multiple media such as sculptural 3-D elements, animated 3-D elements like shadows and textures, as well as depth camera-based interactivity may comprise individual pieces. The ethereal projections – converging on walls, floors and sculptural elements – are inspired by the growing frequency of human exposure to nature via computers or television. Egan’s primary art practice positions the plant world as an equal cohort to the human world. She explains the fundamental irony of the experience, stating, “We get closer and farther away from the natural world simultaneously when we experience it through a technological lens.”
Courtney Egan, Soft Spots, 2008, single channel digital video projection, size variable
Learning the ecology of the Gulf South region is an ongoing process for Egan that informs her artwork. She is a volunteer with the Louisiana Master Naturalists and participates in a community native wildflower meadow with Civic Studio, a New Orleans-based collaborative. Her ongoing research reveals complex plant histories, plant economics, and lore, and foregrounds the ecology of the natural world in daily life. Her animations give viewers a new, mediated experience of plants and asks for people to consider the plant world as equal partners with us in the stewardship of the earth.
Courtney Egan holds an M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has had solo shows at Arthur Roger Gallery and Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Bradbury Museum of Art, Louisiana Art and Science Museum, Colorado State University Art Museum, and the University of Louisiana’s Hilliard Museum. Her honors include artist-in-residencies at the Santa Fe Art Institute and at Louisiana Artworks in New Orleans.