Sinuous Snakes, Bugs, and Florals Intertwine in Graphite Illustrations by Zoe Keller




June 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The place We As soon as Lived II,” copper stomach water snake, graphite on paper, 14 x 14 inches. All pictures © Zoe Keller, shared with permission

By way of a winding sequence of delicate illustrations, Zoe Keller (previously) explores the fragility of the pure world. In Scale & Bone, the Portland-based illustrator renders copper stomach water snakes, San Francisco garters, and japanese diamondback rattlers by means of sinuous compositions which are ripe with skeletal stays, rows of butterflies, and dense patches of fungi. Every graphite drawing examines the stress between life and loss of life and how nature’s processes are cyclical, together with the shedding and regeneration of tube-like layers of pores and skin.

Keller’s work considers the great thing about the limbless reptiles in an effort to subvert cultural notions. “Snakes, in specific, fascinate me as an issue as a result of they elicit such a robust response in so many individuals,” she shares with Colossal. Scale & Bone is a component of a bigger effort to visualise the destruction of ecosystems and widespread lack of biodiversity. “By way of the usage of visible narratives which are interjected with surreal and magical parts, I hope to permit the species in my drawings to talk with urgency to the forces inflicting their decline in this time of human-driven mass extinction,” she writes.

A lot of Keller’s tasks fall on the intersection of artwork and environmental activism, providing
“alternatives to collaborate instantly with scientists engaged on the bottom to guard imperiled species.” The illustrator just lately labored with Save the Snakes, a company that steers conservation efforts and makes an attempt to cut back hurt by people. Her serpent-focused poster will probably be unveiled this summer time in time for World Snake Day.

Scale & Bone presently is on view at Antler Gallery, which is providing a digital tour on its web site. Observe Keller on Instagram for updates on her intertwined illustrations, and test her shop for prints, postcards, and stickers.


“Black Pine Snake,” graphite on paper, 34 x 43 inches

“Jap Diamondback Rattlesnake,” graphite on paper, 34 x 43 inches

“Jap Indigo,” graphite on paper, 27.5 x 36 inches

“Memento Mori I” (2020), large garter snake and pipevine swallowtail, graphite on paper, 14 x 14 inches

“At all times I” (2020), New Mexican tidge-nosed rattlesnake, graphite on paper, 14 x 14 inches

“Memento Mori II,” San Francisco garter and cabbage white, graphite on paper, 14 x 14 inches

“Are We Ghosts,” graphite on paper, 27.5 x 36 inches


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