One of my most profound and memorable experiences as a child was a peek at the hidden underwater world from a glass-bottom boat in Polynesia. I was awestruck by the peculiarity and strange beauty of the flora and fascinated by how they evolved such bizarre and splendid features to adapt to and thrive in their ecosystem.
Today, as climate change is disrupting our planet’s environment and especially its marine ecosystems, I wonder what life may evolve to as it copes with the stresses of ecological trauma. My sculptural forms suggest what could result from caustic mutations here on Earth or on planets we’ve colonized after depleting our own resources. These science fiction-like growths combine plant, mineral, metal, and human representations to depict the existence of otherworldly creatures, beauty molting out of hardened places.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been experimenting with materials and mediums. I eventually chose porcelain as my primary medium because of its luminosity, which adds an element of hope to the despondency we might feel in response to my subject. Each work draws on hard-earned expertise in the techniques of slab-building, throwing, hand-sculpting, metallurgy, and alchemy. An unlikely mix of media combined with a form that conveys a sense of movement creates a mystical tension. Methods used in other cultures and eras conspire with the discipline of my formal art training to bring these aquatic sculptures to life.
ARTerrain Gallery by Saba Besier Mutant Beauty | Aquatic Sculptures
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About the Artist
Saba Besier’s education in art began with the study of fashion design in London, where she experimented with unusual fabric textures, patterns, and forms. She later pursued an MFA at Pratt Institute in New York with a concentration in painting and a minor in computer graphics and special effects. Saba gravitated toward water-media and making her own pigments using semi-precious minerals applied on unconventional surfaces. Later she began to collaborate with her father, a physician by trade and a prolific photographer by passion. He was a huge influence and source of support in her growth as an artist. They developed a collection of stylized botanicals together, mixing water-media and photography that catered well to hotel, restaurant, and luxury interior design markets. After her father passed in 2014, she took a hiatus to reevaluate her art career and experiment with new materials and three-dimensional work.
Saba’s most recent medium is porcelain. She continues to explore plant life and unconventional materials but now these explorations are infused with her interest in science fiction. Porcelain allows her to create works that cast interesting shadows and take on different personalities from a variety of angles. Her concern for what is happening in our oceans and her interest in science fiction lead to an entirely new direction, resulting in sculptural forms that blend these two subjects. She has been an exhibiting artist for 25 years and resides in Dallas, Texas.