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Kenneth Huff
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artist statement | technical statement | process



artist statement

The iridescence of a beetle; the twisting surfaces of a wilting leaf; the spiral forms and sutures of a fossilized mollusk shell; fissures growing in drying mud; the arches, loops and whorls of a fingerprint are all examples of the natural forms and patterns that inspire my images. While I draw on these natural sources for inspiration, I do not create literal translations of their patterns and forms. I am intrigued with combining ideas from a number of sources and the contrast and ambiguity arising from those combinations.

Even though I embrace technology in my process, I do not create the mechanical perfection of many human-made patterns, patterns made up of perfectly repeating identical elements. More intriguing are patterns found in the natural world where elements repeat, but not necessarily with perfect symmetry and in which elements are similar, but not necessarily identical. Many of the patterns I create have both periodic and aperiodic aspects.

Inspired by the random, yet structured beauty and minute details of nature (flora, fauna and mineral), I often include many objects in my images; all similar in form, yet each unique in its details. Those details of color and texture mimic the level of physical detail found in the natural world and create an illusion of reality even while the viewer is confronted with the practical knowledge that the objects illustrated do not exist.

One of the great joys of my process is that I can create an image with physical levels of detail and realism without the constraints of physical materials. The path from inspiration and idea to implementation and image is direct and unencumbered.

I recently met a scientist investigating the micro-structures formed by the controlled sintering of ceramic powders. Sintering involves the heating, but not melting, of materials to form a coherent mass. Electronmicrographs of his research served as the initial inspiration for a series which incorporates numerous small plates, either entirely representing a surface or coating portions of a surface. The structured placement of the sixteen spheres in each image is contrasted with the irregularities of the plates.