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 ecology research focuses on the interactions between Joshua trees, their soil fungi, and moth pollinators in Joshua Tree National Park. I use the 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.
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.
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