Orchids are one of the oldest, largest, and most diverse flowering plant families, with an estimated 30,000 naturally occurring species on every continent except Antarctica. With an additional of at least 130,000 man-made hybrids, Patricia Laspino views orchids as global artifacts of modern society.
Beacons of biodiversity, orchids can teach us about climate change and the pressure of environmental stress on nature. The most outstanding characteristics of orchids are their diversity and adaptability through survival strategies developed over the past 80 million years. However, the alarming accelerated rate of factors negatively affecting the orchid’s habitats due to climate change and deforestation is prohibiting orchids and other species from adapting fast enough.
Over the last 20 years of Laspino's 40-year career as an artist, she has been working creatively to promote awareness for nature's preservation through her paintings, exhibitions, and lectures which are designed to inspire advocacy and address climate change. Interweaving art and science, these works of are showcase the profound beauty and wonder of nature by using the orchid as an ambassador and storyteller.
Metaphorically painting orchids, Laspino explores cultural and biological evolution, biodiversity and environmental issues. Her signature style of multi-layering translucent oil paint glazes over botanical impressions that resemble fossils creates a background of interwoven organic shapes, designs, textures and colors. They painted surfaces capture even the smallest amount of light to achieve the vibrancy and luminosity of a petal in the sunlight. Upon these botanical tapestries she paints the incredibly diverse architecture of the orchid, which she considers an icon of evolution.
With one foot firmly planted in the world of art and the other in science, Patricia Laspino Federally trademarked the project she now envisions as her life’s work, known as the Orchid Alliance Project-Bridging Art and Science. "This global collaborative project unites participants who share a common sensibility for global stewardship by increasing awareness for nature through innovative and educational art exhibitions and initiatives" says the artist.
Scientific and cultural research is an integral part of Laspino's studio practice. Her paintings tell stories to connect people with nature in unique and unexpected ways. Global Garden exhibitions use orchid art as a vehicle for awareness through beauty and inquiry. Art and science are intertwined beckoning the viewer to explore fresh perspectives and stimulating new conversation about nature’s wonders.