works by Berenice
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My work has always been involved with water images, the element of birth and renewal in nature. The paintings incorporate ecological concerns along with our instinctual and biological relationship to the natural world, the beauty, the terror, and the fear of loss.

For several years, my concentration was on the primal swamps of Florida and the southern United States, where I found an intensification of the elements I seek and attempt to communicate in my work.

As the ecological crisis accelerates, I find that my response to the swamps I visit intensifies. And the need to communicate the fragile wonder and life-affirming experience also intensifies.

It is difficult for me to understand man’s age-old need to destroy and control nature. There seems to be a love/hate/fear relationship in operation. We see the fearful avoidance of nature in Western art until the Reformation, when the terror and power of nature (since the church could no longer stand between man and nature and protect him) appears, particularly in Northern European painting. As time progressed, NATURE became LANDSCAPE, and European art depicted it in a safe and controlled manner.

Because of this diminution of the nature experience, I respond more to American painting of the 19th and early 20th century, where the transcendental awe of nature, coupled with a humanistic acceptance of humankind, prevails. In these works, there seems to be an awareness of all aspects of nature, including the frightening and the overwhelming.

In addition I respond to Eastern art and philosophy, which recognizes man as an element of nature and reminds me of our need to continue being a part of the natural world. The fact that in Asian art, the viewer is both inside and outside of the painting at the same time fascinates me.

Today, living in a primarily industrial and technological world, it has been too easy for man to destroy nature in the name of progress. Something vitally important to our existence has been forgotten. I seem to have accepted the task of trying to remind people of what we are in danger of losing. We are not destroying the world; we are destroying ourselves. The world, as Lewis Thomas has pointed out, will continue to exist in a different form. With our necessary environment in which to survive gone, we will be extinct.

Berenice D'Vorzon