Drawn from Nature

Drawn from Nature is a collection of paintings and works on paper by Philadelphia artist Kiki Gaffney that explores the natural world’s intricate systems and hidden structures through a contemporary point of view.

The artist reception is on July 13, 2023, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.On view from July 7 through August 29.

Location: the Cope House Gallery

Cost: Free


Artist Statement

Nature, with all of its intricate structures and hidden systems has been providing source material for my work for quite some time. I am interested in the slow cycle of growth and decay, as well as the spontaneity of movement when elements of time are considered, such as wind or light and shadow. Natural patterns and structures, or ‘architecture,’ don’t follow a particular order, yet these patterns can be translated into our constructed lives through organization (grids or pattern designs, for example), so there is a connection between these visual constellations. My work is about observations of these systems of connections in the natural environment – taking elements from that environment to create a new context. I am also interested in exploring the notion of space – boundary-less/open space (the natural world) and defined/closed space (design elements) with the idea of ultimately creating a contemplative space. I am attracted to imagery that may seem visually banal (such as a fallen tree) and elevating it to a higher level of awareness, creating an equivalence between blandness and emotion.




















About the Artist

Kiki Gaffney (Philadelphia, PA) is a visual artist who works primarily in graphite, oil and acrylic. Her work is highly detailed and explores the natural environment through recognizable imagery in combination with conceptual and abstract ideas. Most recently Kiki has been creating work that references cycles found in nature, such as growth and decay, the passage of time and the spontaneity of movement. She is interested in imagery that may seem mundane (such as a fallen tree, or natural detritus on the forest floor) and exposing its innate beauty and purpose by elevating it to a higher level of awareness. Kiki uses materials such as gold and silver leaf, and glitter for their reflective qualities, and as a way to document light and time. Gold leaf has also been used in works of art over the centuries as a method to reference devotion or reverence. Using this same material in conjunction with natural objects not immediately recognized as ‘beautiful’ is a method to highlight the sublime in nature.

Kiki Gaffney is represented by Pentimenti Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), Modern West Fine Art (Salt Lake City, UT) and K. Imperial Fine Art (San Francisco, CA). She has been a working artist and actively exhibiting for twenty-five years, including 17 solo exhibitions and inclusion in numerous group exhibitions across the country. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (Amherst, VA), and has residencies at the Denver Botanic Gardens (Denver, CO) and the Montello Foundation (Montello, NV) in 2023.

Kiki Gaffney received a BA in Studio Arts from Loyola College (Baltimore, MD) and an MFA in Painting from the University of the Arts (Philadelphia PA). She lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband, artist Tom Judd and daughter Astrid.