Nature is a frequent collaborator of Denver visual artist Lauri Lynnxe Murphy.
In particular, snails.
Murphy creates drawings from live snails, a sort of documentation of their slimy trails as they move around.
“I don’t let myself make choices for them,” she said. “So I can put them on the paper … and then when they walk off the paper I can move them again. But otherwise, I leave them alone and let them do what they’re going to do.”
The snails came after making art with bees, creating sculptures “out of wax and sticks and objects, and put them in the hive.”
“There are certain things I can control and manipulate, but … [the bees] do the work themselves in the hive,” she said. “I’m actually quite allergic to bee stings, which is what led me working to snails.”
This fascination with nature made her an ideal fit to be the featured artist for Denver Art Museum’s “Untitled Final Friday” this month. The monthly series showcases local artists creating works and experiences that respond to the museum’s collections and exhibitions.
Murphy is drawing inspiration from DAM’s “The Light Show” and “Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature” exhibitions.
“I think that what Monet is doing is all about light and all about the interplay of the atmosphere with color,” Murphy said. “And I think that comes into my work too.”
Also similar to Monet, Murphy said she’s not just documenting what she sees, but also responding to her natural surroundings. In Murphy’s case, that’s creating works that she hopes will excite people about nature, and wake them up “to what we stand to lose” as the earth’s climate changes.
“I’m a big believer that art changes the world by changing one person at a time,” she said. “We’re at this moment now where we’re at a big tipping point, we need to care… So I feel like this is what I have to contribute to the world, as an artist and as an activist, is to try to raise awareness and educate people and that’s really my mission in creating work.”
Lauri Lynnxe Murphy is the featured artist for the Denver Art Museum’s “Untitled Final Friday: In/Visible” on Oct. 25, 2019.