In Handplant, Allyson Mellberg and Jeremy Taylor address the dysfunctional relationship humans have with nature in their depictions of maimed and diseased animals and people in drawings, paintings, porcelain and soft sculpture. While their characters can be quite grotesque, a tenderness and sense of humor prevails, empowering the deformed as well as invigorating the viewer to think about their own actions. Fine-line rendered hairy creatures grow tails and cuddle with deformed humans while pock-marked boys in their underwear unite in solidarity with sickly deer, hugging and riding each other around despite their ailments.
All of the materials used to make the work for Handplant are natural and non-toxic: homemade walnut ink washes mix with squid and spinach inks to create beautiful natural color tones that also act as viable alternatives to toxic paints and chemicals. A healthy optimism shines through all of the work via their partnership with nature in their art-making practice, as well as the images themselves, which are able to return us to the fantastical qualities of nature and animals that we seem to easily forget in our increasingly industrialized world.