Swarm: Mixed Media

Artist Statement

In my current series, Swarm, I am exploring the concept of emergent intelligence within hive-minded species. I am taking this on through experimentation with color and composition of various swarming organisms. The forms imitate the nature of each species presented on top of flat, ambiguous backgrounds that play off of their natural colors. Through my technical choices, I attempt to generate common reactions associated with the swarms, which most commonly deal with fear and anxiety, all while maintaining the viewer’s attraction to the pieces. I aim to change my audience’s perspective. Instead of viewing these occurrences in fear, we can learn to admire their beauty and grace. I wish to also challenge my audience with questions. Who is the leader? What makes these individuals unique?

I believe that we can learn and solve many of our environmental and social problems by studying nature, and even something as small as one individual’s change in perspective can catalyze global change, just as the smallest ant is an integral piece to the success of his extremely large colony.

Devan Horton is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting. During her college career, she studied abroad in Rome and Florence, Italy, and has traveled to some of the most famous museums around the world. Raised in Covington, Kentucky, by two creative parents, she was introduced to the creative process early on. Since receiving her undergraduate degree, Devan creates and promotes her artistic career by showings in local and national galleries, as well as through an entrepreneurial approach by curating a series of pop-up shows named Perennial around the Greater Cincinnati area, where other local artists get to display their work and build community.

When looking for new subjects and concepts, Devan frequently looks toward nature. Often times at its more unpleasant subjects like bugs, fungi, and roots, and paints them in formats that her audience can build new appreciations for and recognize the beauty that was there all along. She enjoys pushing the boundaries of her mediums through experimentation by introducing non-traditional materials such as sand and bleach into the process. All of her work is motivated around provoking her audience to change their perception of beauty.