Lyndsay McKay is a Bio-Artist, living in
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Lyndsay McKay explores the intersection of art + science from a rhizomatic perspective. As a former nurse, the artist's earlier explorations utilize objects commonly found in clinical settings - latex gloves, syringes, plaster and silicone tubing, to create her self-titled series, Biomorphic Landscapes. These works interpret the connections between the microcosm and the macrocosm. They ponder levels of scale and boundary, while orchestrating interruptions within the pathways of growing organic material, and they mirror the resilient intricacies of human & other-than-human relationships.
In its current form, McKay's work grants space for cognitive pause. It questions the sustainability of an art practice maintained by foraging for materials on local beaches, among landscapes that are imprisoned within the grips of relentless global catastrophe. Seaweeds, common to the Pacific Coast are collected and brought to a home studio, to be dried, oven-baked and reformed into bioplastics, using every day kitchen items and ingredients. Acts of “work” take place in shared space where maternal responsibilities are consistently intertwined. These tasks break through barriers of the public-private realm, requiring newly formed synapses for harmonization to take place, while they entangle themselves within the domestic sphere. In this moment, the artist's process both exposes and interrogates the consequences of ecological crises, by uncovering the point in which the affliction embeds itself inside familial boundaries. It imposes a chronic diagnosis when considering fundamental hierarchies of human need, and it examines the burden of the social periphery by way of an abrupt elimination of privacy.
Additionally, McKay contemplates how much of our biological life is perceived or experienced through our body’s sensorium. The sensorium is a mechanical system that functions unconsciously as the body’s computer for physical intelligence. This system places the human body IN the world, as an entity capable of emerging and co-evolving with other life forms. During an artist talk with a fourth year Professional Practice class at the University of Windsor, the artist explains, "I am fascinated by the porosity the human body, which is ‘learning along the way’ via our senses, our cells, and our ever-adapting microbiome. I am seeking to provoke a deepened understanding of sensorial interaction – one which inherently exists when using biological materiality. My process demonstrates the existence of symbiotic relationships between body and environment."
In an often-subdued transition, the work is emphasized by the lines of connection that merge together, defining us as perpetually forward-moving, evolvable beings. Part mechanical and part anatomical, the work finds ways to open and close, to flicker and pulsate, to stretch and retract, to be willed and to suffer - and through this, it seeks to break the dichotomy between humans and other living systems. Rather, it takes a retro-futuristic approach to tie us together, forming rich channels of communication for embodied intelligence.