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The Similarity of Being

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Plants and paper share the same cells, fiber, and structural vulnerability. When flora are cut and the stocks are placed in water, their imminent decay is slowed. When paper absorbs water it’s decay is accelerated. This installation will be watered weekly during the exhibition in order to demonstrate the precarious nature of coexistence, perseverance, and fragility. The sacrifice of one medium to prolong the condition of the other can be witnessed dynamically over the 28 day exhibition.

Watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfold on social media and international news outlets increases the sense of the global life connectedness we all have. The relativity of life is made clear when witnessing the destruction of lives, homes, cities and a society. Codependent ecosystems are essentially societies where the biological perseverance of life is contingent on relationships. The rhythm of life and decay is a fluctuation of being, dynamically related to the acceptance or repression of variety.

Eric Standley is known for his extremely complex paper artworks using a unique laser cutting process that he developed in 2005. His work has been exhibited in over 120 galleries and museums around the world and are a part of several international collections including the Palace of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, the U.S. Embassy of Albania, the Scherenschnitt Museum of Germany, and the Zupi Collection of São Paulo Brazil. Eric is a Professor in the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. He received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and his MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Barbara Leshyn is a descendent of a long line of florists. She teaches floral design at Virginia Tech. Barbara and her students provide floral designs for multiple events on the college campus. Barbara received her Bachelor's of Spanish and Master's of Education from Virginia Tech and she is also a Certified Floral Designer.