Lisa Corine von Koch is an artist and educator, and is proud to have grown up in beautiful Moab, Utah, where she realized her passion for the land, color and light. She received her B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from the University of Utah in 2005, and her M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from Arizona State University in 2009. She served as Interim Professor of Drawing at Bloomsburg University from 2012-2013. She has taught courses in Drawing, Life Drawing, 2D and 3D Design and Color Theory at Arizona State University, Phoenix College and Mesa Community College. Her personal practice has expanded from painting and drawing to include sculpture, performance, installation and collaboration in the interest of incorporating ecological practices into art making. Lisa is the recipient of fellowships to attend residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Her work has been included in the Arizona Biennial and been installed at the Phoenix Art Museum. She was the winner of the Artist Grant from the Contemporary Forum in Phoenix Arizona.

Artist Statement
My artwork is a testimony to my search for a point of reconciliation; it is an attempt to navigate the paradox of believing in an environmentalist agenda while remaining an object maker and a user of materials. My work embodies the tension that I feel in being both a critic of and a participant in the interaction of nature and culture. As an artist whose primary focus is that of reverence for the natural world, I have acknowledged the hypocrisy of using materials that contribute to the degradation of the earth. As a result, I now primarily use natural materials such as beeswax and pigment, as well as vegetative material, primarily non-indigenous or invasive plants that testify to human impact. In addition, I incorporate manmade materials such as used water bottles, paper towels, receipts, junk mail, and scraps of canvas that I unravel. These materials testify to the wasteful decadence of our contemporary lifestyle, yet they can all be re-purposed into the raw material of art. Additionally, the poetic action of my performance work allows for direct engagement with the audience. By creating unforgettable scenes in outlandish costumes, I am able to communicate the urgency of my work, while infusing it with humor and with elements of the absurd.

It is becoming increasingly important for me to confront my dependency on a system that causes so much irreversible damage to the planet. I attempt to find ways to implicate myself, and recognize my own weaknesses for abundant and excessive material use both in the studio and in my life. Therefore, I continually seek materials and subject matter that are selected with a renewed environmental consciousness and awareness. In this way, I strive to both define and to refine my relationship with the environment, and I encourage the audience to investigate their own relationship with the planet.

Beeswane is an exhibition designed to bring humans into the space of bees in an effort to encourage appreciation for the important role of the bee. In addition, Beeswane illustrates the absurdity of humans taking over the work of the bees should their numbers continue to fall dramatically. The tragedy of Bee Colony Collapse Disorder reveals the delicate balance of our ecosystem and the consequences of the choices we make in our everyday lives. Beeswane is intended to bring focus to the fact that our dependence on this noble insect has escalated as a result of our soaring population and subsequently ever-increasing need for crop production. It is one of many canaries in the coalmine suggesting that the Business as Usual model is no longer an option, and arguing for a conscious move towards a more sustainable future.

The objects in the installation are comprised of hundreds of pounds of beeswax, natural materials, found objects, and handmade paper that is recycled from the constant downpour of junk mail, receipts, clothing and canvas scraps. My immediate environment is a source for these materials: the art studio, ASU campus, Tempe, Arizona. In the same way, manmade materials find their way into the homes and nests of insects, birds and animals revealing human impact. My choice to use these materials is a result of my continuous negotiation between my allegiance to nature and the demands of our culture, a compromise between material use and the message being conveyed. The scale of the installation serves to emphasize the incredible quantity of human-created material, while simultaneously transporting the viewer to a bee-size perspective. Beeswane invites the audience into an unfamiliar world that upon careful inspection reveals recognizable and ordinary ephemera.

We should look to the bees as a model for how to live resourcefully and sustainably on our beautiful planet. They are extremely efficient: generating energy, fabricating shelter, and processing food- all in their bodies! They need few materials from the outside world, the collection of which is beneficial instead of detrimental. They are known as a superorganism; individually they are simple creatures with a bunch of neurons instead of a brain, and yet as a group they utilize complex communication patterns, intricate social relationships, and create extraordinary constructions. As humans, we could be a Super-superorganism, where individuals can contribute significantly, but as a whole organism we can make unbelievable progress and positively transform our way of life and the planet that we share.