Julia Ruth Claus

Julia Ruth Claus, detail of zucchini, paper mobile
Julia Ruth Claus, detail of zucchini portion for her paper mobile

Artist Statement

Observing seeds, my initial response is child-like, one of wonder and curiosity- an instant visual/tactile attraction. I muse on the matter, shape and quality of light; on the miraculous forces of creation that evolve these temporary temples of safe-keeping to efficiently perform functions of protection, exposure, dispersal and support to eventually yield the seedling that may one day emerge.  The condensed intelligence housed within them calls me as an artist to recognize and personify seeds as powerful and sacred icons.

Yet no miracle humbles me more than attempting to create some artistic semblance of seed likeness in one medium or another. I become painfully aware that what I labor to perfect for days and weeks, is seemingly effortlessly created cell upon cell, by Nature herself, and results in this wondrous womb-form, begotten of sunlight, water, ancient rocks and plants, which inspired me in the first place.

For this SEED- Disbursal Exhibition, my inspiration is the perfectly magnificent seed mandala that appears when one slices a vegetable or fruit, and holds it up to the light, exposing the intricate system by which the seeds form and grow within the flesh of the fruit.

It’s as if a whole other plant is growing within the inner fibers, and a cross-section of that growth creates a visual explosion of creative light-force and fractal patterns, and all of this….for the seeds. I’ve gathered together various vegetables and fruits that have been traditionally and regionally grown in the Rocky Mountain valleys for centuries, and hung them as a mobile to catch the air and the light for this moving, visual feast.


Julia Ruth Claus, installation view of her mobile, photo courtesy of the Dairy ARTS Center
Julia Ruth Claus, installation view of her mobile, photo courtesy of the Dairy ARTS Center