Capturing Magic of the Natural World
A West Virginia artist, Nik Botkin holds a Master of Art with a concentration in sculpture from Marshall University and a Bachelor of Art with a concentration in painting from West Virginia State University. The juxtaposition of being raised in a family with multiple generations employed by the local chemical plants and spending childhood summers in the wilderness of Pocahontas County is the shaping factor behind all his work. His goal is to create a non-hypocritical place for people on both sides of the environmental argument to come together. He has had many bodies of work dealing with different aspects of how humanity and nature interact, but his current work is focused on creating life size and lifelike representations of animals using stainless steel silverware, screws, nails and other mass-produced items taken for granted by the human race.
Nik has had many bodies of work dealing with different aspects of how humanity and nature interact, but his current work is focused on creating life size and lifelike representations of animals using stainless steel silverware, screws, nails and other mass-produced items taken for granted by the human race.
I strive to create a warning to the human race that we are liable for all our own actions, including those which affect the world we live in. Long after we are gone, nature will not only thrive, but consume the ruins of human existence to spawn new ecosystems for the evolution of a multitude of burgeoning life forms. Living on Earth is analogous to renting an apartment, if we are bad tenants and disrespect someone else’s property, the landlord will eventually evict us. Mother Nature, God, or any other concept one may have as the ruling entity of the structure of life as we know it could be thought of as this proprietor. That being said, how can we possibly expect anything other than eviction with the way we are treating another’s property? This inevitably leads to the ever greater problem that we cannot just go down the street and rent another apartment. As far as we know, this may be the only dwelling we can inhabit in the cosmos. If we keep up our disposable practices we will soon be homeless. Nature will always and quickly find a better tenant once it has a vacant residence. Humans will be the sole entities who will rightfully pay the price if we do not do everything possible to curtail the damage we impart on our terrestrial home.
Between the Cracks
Throughout the entirety of my life I have always been fascinated by the small plants and creatures that are abundant here in West Virginia. I came to the realization early on that you don’t have to travel far to find something beautiful. If you only step into your backyard and take a closer look you will find that the entire world is full of wonderful things right under your nose. They get overlooked because they are around us all the time and have fallen between the cracks of our lives.
Several years ago I decided to do myself a favor and examine these wonders more closely. I made a promise to myself that I would take at least one photograph each day of something that I thought was beautiful or fascinating. All of these photographs are taken with just a simple phone camera. The idea is to show everyone, as well as myself, that anyone can step outside and find something amazing as long as we are willing to slow down and take a closer look.