Amy Ross

Amy Ross, Goat Magnolia #5, 2006 (detail)

Born 1972, Denville, NJ, lives and works in Boston, MA

Goat Magnolia #5, 2006 (detail), watercolor on paper, 30” x 22”, Private Collection

From website:

In Amy Ross’s wall drawings sheep bloom from branches and goats peer out of flower buds. While these fantastic images pay homage to nineteenth-century fairy paintings—imagined portraits of the fictional creatures—they are rooted in Biblical references and more recently in contemporary issues of genetic engineering.

Docile and domestic animals such as sheep, goats, and chickens evoke sacrifice—a life given to us for food and clothing as well as specific biblical narratives and imagery of the sacrificial lamb. Ross’s own background in religious studies informs her work, as do local farms and petting zoos where she takes her source photography. Now, merged with plants, these animals are hybrid creatures, as the artist asks, “What would happen if the DNA sequence of a plant or mushroom were spliced with that of an animal?” Her sheep, joined with branches and flowers, become Dolly, the first cloned mammal and the universal symbol of genetic engineering. In her delicate drawings, Ross touches on the complexity of science’s latest intervention with nature. Where does religion stand in the face of these god-like experiments? What has society wrought on nature? Creeping along the wall in a larger-than-life scale, Ross’s drawing reflects the overwhelming presence of these pressing issues.