The Naturalist

This work makes reference to Seamus Heaney’s poem, Death of a Naturalist (1966). It focuses on the first stanza, in which the child encounters the natural world with unselfconscious wonder and curiosity, before disgust for the visceral physicality of nature sets in. The suggestion of intimacy in the left panel is paired with a list of adjectives on the right, excerpted from Gerard Manley Hopkins’ rhapsodic poem, Pied Beauty (1877), offering an intellectual counterpart to the physical and uniting idea with experience.

This work was commissioned by Arkansas Museum of Fine Art for my exhibition, The Naturalist, April 27-October 13, 2024, and has been acquired by the museum. Click here to see this work in process at Dieu Donné studios: