February 23 - April 2, 2022
Having lived abroad and travelled to 30 countries Erik is currently living in Newcastle, WA with his wife and 4 year old son. His main form of creative expression is flat lay nature photography, taking objects from nature and arranging them on solid color background to express a fine art feel. Erik operates under the name The Botanic Table of Elements, conjuring up images of order and categorization of the periodic table of elements but with the natural feel of botanicals. Other mediums include making inks and dyes from foraged material, watercolor painting, furniture making and block printing.
While my art is typically classified as photography, to me the artistry lies in having the eye to recognize beauty, the creativity to reimagine it in the studio and the patience and technique to carry out my vision. In doing flat lay nature photography I take elements from nature and arrange them on a solid colored background in patterns and shapes. They are often accompanied by a short written reflection. I have arranged over 300 photos during the past 5 years.
The entire process is a meditation for me. First to wander in nature with the purpose of finding beautiful and interesting things. Then to let my mind play at creating a lay out concept. Once I have an idea my hands take over, while my hands are occupied my mind is finally free to dive deep into thought. In this flow state my mind begins to process the things I have been experiencing recently. Emotions rise to the surface, new ideas take shape, and I often finish a piece both exhausted and renewed. These emotions and thoughts are simultaneously influencing what I am creating but also directed by what I am creating. It is a nonverbal conversation between my body and mind. My titles and reflections come out of the things I was ruminating on while creating them.
I love visiting new ecosystems and working with the natural elements of a place. It connects me to a physical location and the animals/people who subsisted off the native plants. The work is essentially a collaboration with nature, I collect things forged in wild places and highlight them. It is a deeply meaningful and spiritual practice for me. Many of the elements I work with (flowers, leaves) wilt quickly, I have only a few hours to work with them until they are visibly degraded. The pieces themselves are ephemeral and seasonal, it is only through photographing them that I can capture their moment in time.