Lucia Monge: While a Leaf Breathes (Mientras una Hoja Respira)
“My first impactful classroom was my grandfather’s garden.”
Lucia Monge approaches her creative explorations with the rigor of a biochemist and the curiosity, fascination, and imagination of her childhood growing up in Perú. Influenced by her scientist grandfather and the long hours spent in his garden, she developed the foundation of her artistic practice, which focuses on the natural world, observation of cycles, and the surprising beauty of material transformations.
In this exhibition, Monge explores stomata — the pores through which plants breathe — as a metaphor for life and vulnerability. Exchanging air with the environment is key to the photosynthetic process of plants. However, every time these pores open to breathe, the plant risks losing water. There is vulnerability in opening up, and loss and nourishment must be balanced in order to stay alive.
While a Leaf Breathes examines our connection to or dissociation from an intricate natural world that is hiding in plain sight. Through the fusion of art and biology, Monge presents us with a living installation where surprising materials are in conversation with each other. Her sculptures illuminate interspecies relationships and invite us to see how the human necessity to breathe is interwoven with the lives of plants and other organisms.