March 3, 2023, to March 25, 2023
Artist Reception: Friday, March 3, 2023,
from 4:30 to 5:30 pm
Caitlin Cadieux: Nature’s Eyes is a series of drawings that tap into the childlike and instinctive human wonder of the natural world. Each drawing champions an animal in a fantastical, multicolored version of its natural environment. In each piece, the eyes of the animal are either staring directly back at the viewer, or otherwise prominently visible – the soul of this series is in looking and seeing, appreciating the majesty of what we now have in nature, what animals once roamed Earth in the past, and even the mythological beasts that humans fantasized in their awe of the mysteries of the world around them.
The works are inspired by my fascination with biological history, evolution, and extinction, as well as my angst and helplessness about the climate crisis. In a way, I hope to preserve the fleeting beauty of life on Earth and my own perception of it by capturing these fleeting images, touched by color and fantasy. This series invites the viewer to pause and appreciate the overwhelming diversity, beauty, and fragility of life on this planet, and to contemplate our interactions – positive and negative – with animals and nature
The artwork Caitlin Cadieux crafts under the moniker Smilodonna is inspired by her abiding passion and interest in the natural world, the history of life on our planet, and the meaning humanity derives from the animal world in the form of mythology. As a multidisciplinary creative professional, Smilodonna is the space Cadieux makes for herself to create the work most true to her calling as an artist. It’s an attempt to recapture the way she saw the world as a child, dazzling and rich, mysterious and full. It’s borne out of deep sadness for the climatological state of Earth and the mass extinction of species, and it’s a celebration of the countless forms of animal life that have preceded our geological epoch. With every work I discover a new animal, a new way of seeing the complexity of life; it’s a joy to learn as she creates.
Cadieux works on toned and colored paper with colored pencils – simple materials that open the door for so much experimentation. This allows me to play with environmental color and unlocks a truly fathomless array of colors out of a limited palette for me to combine in each drawing. The different textures of the paper, the transparency and blending of the pencils, and the burnished brightness underline and support my desire to showcase the diversity and mystery of the natural world.
Cadieux is an animator and illustrator, born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK, and living in Troy, NY since 2014. The desire to draw has been a constant since before her first memories formed. Using illustration and animation skills, Cadieux has worked as a creative professional in a variety of fields, including journalism (The Atlantic, Vox Media) and advertising/marketing, and my work has been screened internationally. Smilodonna is her reconnection to her fine art roots, eschewing digital art tools for the physicality and warmth of traditional fine art.