About the Artist

Joshua Hale is a creative professional from Texas and currently living in Langley, BC, Canada. He is an Assistant Professor of Art + Design at Trinity Western University. Having professional and educational experience in both the design and studio art realms, he carries with him an interdisciplinary perspective. Before earning his MFA in studio art, he worked as a professional graphic and web designer in Texas. He is interested in research that explores the wide overlap between art and design, such as creative thinking processes, creative problem solving techniques, and design methodologies. This interest has led him to introduce various problem-solving systems and creative thinking techniques into his design and studio work, as well as into the academic environment.

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Artist Statement

Nature, like language and other complex systems, can be understood as a vast collection of individual parts. Just as we use punctuation and grammar to control language, we attempt to control nature by rearranging its parts. My work is a visual exploration into this process of deconstructing complex systems, both human and natural, and what happens when our rigid categories begin to merge, cluster, and dissolve.

When grappling with the troubled relationship between humanity and nature, we are often presented with the concept that human systems and natural systems are mutually exclusive and incompatible. However, we easily forget that humans are deeply connected to the natural world, bound by the same natural laws and organic processes as everything else. Even the most advanced man-made objects are mere rearrangements of materials taken from nature; nothing is ever fully man-made. With this in mind, I question whether the extreme conceptual barriers we place between man and nature might be preventing productive dialogue. Working against this binary tendency, my work intentionally blurs the boundaries between what it means to be human and what it means to be natural, creating a space where human perspectives and natural forms are freely allowed to coexist, play, and intermingle.

Unlike using a scientific approach, where experiments are based on a predetermined rational hypothesis, my work embraces a creative approach, yielding results that are often wild and unpredictable. Many of the most groundbreaking insights in human history have been the result of accidents and unforeseeable connections. With this in mind, like a haphazard laboratory or workshop, my work creates a space where science and mystery are allowed to coexist, and our fixed boundaries, definitions, and categories become fluid.

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