Islesolation gallery

Alien Life – J Ong

Watercolour and Acrylic

I imagine that most of the alien life that is yet to be discovered by humans are not the sentient, bipedal extra-terrestrials of popular culture. Far more abundant in the innumerable worlds across our universe, as here on Earth, may be simpler life forms; flora, fungi, bacteria, archaea.

I wondered what this undiscovered life might look like, how it would grow and reproduce, how “alien” or similar they may be to life forms with which we are familiar, having grown from and adapted to different atmospheres, or even being composed of different elements.

To create this collection, I explored the process and physical act of growth by allowing my paint to move, and shapes to grow and form and multiply, in ways that felt organic. Using gravity and unusual instruments (something I touched on in a previous virtual workshop for Independent Arts) to not so much create an image, but imitate the growth processes of living organisms. I took inspiration from mitosis and meiosis, the spread and growth of bacteria and viruses, and familiar Earthly life forms. I explored systems such as roots and spores, and above all tried to imagine new possibilities and forms for Life, all with the universal desire to grow, multiply and pass on genetic material.