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Juniper Harrower copyright © 2011-2019

The beauty of soil symbiosis

Through a combination of field, lab, and studio research, I study the complexities of species interactions under climate change. My PhD ecology research focused on the interactions between Joshua trees, their soil fungi, and moth pollinators in Joshua Tree National Park. I use the ecological science findings from my research to inspire the creation of a unique art form where I manipulate the physical and chemical properties of paint, and include elements of the study organisms into the process (Joshua tree fibers, seed oil, and the spines as painting tools). I then match the colors and shapes in the paintings to data on soil nutrients, temperatures and fungal species that I discover in my ecological research.

 

This scientific painting process requires detailed note taking to recreate the desired textures and effects. Through this work I aim to better understand the form and function of the organisms that I study as well as to share with others the hidden beauty of these threatened species interactions.

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Press

Jennifer Albrink, 2019. A Joshua Tree Love Story at the black rock gallery. Palm Springs Life. https://www.palmspringslife.com/events/art-exhibition-a-joshua-tree-love-story-at-the-black-rock-art-gallery/

Staff, 2019. Networked: Sci + Art exhibition. Curate LA. https://curate.la/event.php?id=17148

 

Hillary Sloane, 2019. Juniper and the Joshua trees: Morongo Valley native delves into the desert species’ survival. Hi-Desert Star. http://www.hidesertstar.com/news/article_10e1b540-45f1-11e9-8b1e-27d25306a10f.html

Richard Dion, 2019. Juniper Harrower on art and science. The Soul of California podcast. http://thesoulofcalifornia.libsyn.com/

Philip Kiefer, 2018. Iconic Joshua Trees may disappear but scientists are fighting back.

National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/10/joshua-trees-moths-threatened-climate-change-scientists-seek-solutions

Publications

Harrower, J. 2019. Merging Art, Science, and Motherhood to Save Joshua Trees. Leonardo: doi: 10.1162/leon_a_01791

Harrower, J., Parker, J., Merson, M., 2018. (cover feature) Species Loss: Exploring Opportunities with Art-Science. Journal of Integrative and Comparative Biology:doi.10.1093/icb/icy016