Tree of Life

Shared by:
Dylan Mortimer

About the Artwork:

I am interested in the tension of pain and healing.  We search for cures to so many things- physically, psychologically and spiritually.  This search compels me.  I was born with a severe degenerative respiratory disease called cystic fibrosis.  Growing up, the average lifespan of a patient was in the late teens, now it is early thirties.  I also grew up the son of a pastor.  I have and am wrestling through my work and what healing means for me.  I try to convey visually the battle that goes on in my body and mind.

Inspirations in the imagery include religious iconography, medical illustrations, and marquee signs found in Vegas or Times Square.  I hope to reference high spiritual ideals with low tech materials like glitter.  I am interested in the directness of signage.  The glow and hopefulness of Vegas signs have similarities to stained glass and illuminated manuscripts.  The hope is to direct the viewer to something exciting, glowing, mesmerizing.  These visual forms have been a way for me to navigate the challenges of being born with a life-threatening illness.  Glitter can cover phlegm, blood and tears.  Is it only a covering or way of hiding?  Or can there be truth in the transformation of pain into something beautiful?

I’m trying to see the 95% many scientists claim we can't see.  I want to see as many “God Particles” as I can.  I want to fix my eyes on the unseen.  I want to see what is real.

About the Artist:

Dylan Mortimer graduated with a BFA Kansas City Art Institute and a MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York.  He has created public art installations in several cities including New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Kansas City and Denver.  His exhibition history includes Columbia University, The Longwood Arts Gallery in the Bronx, the Dumbo Arts Center, PS 122 Gallery in New York, the Kansas City Jewish Museum, the Nerman Museum in Overland Park, KS, and the Haw Contemporary in Kansas City.  He has been featured in the New York Times, The New York Post, The Chicago Sun, The Baltimore Sun, NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, The Kansas City Star, The Daily Mail, Sculpture Magazine, Public Art Review, and several other publications internationally.

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