Elli Crocker

Humans and beings

Humans and Beings

This work explores connections to the “other” and that which is elemental within us. The tension with the animal is an essential aspect of our humanness. We both celebrate and condemn that which is wild and instinctual. This long ambivalence is evident in art and literature throughout human history. As adults in contemporary western society, we live more in the mind than in the body, but not always comfortably. Our shared mortality links us to the animal kingdom, and the terms of our existence with one another are both brutal and tender.

The chimeras combining human and animal features reference myth and folklore across many cultures. The fused animal-human is the ultimate symbol of the polarities of mind and body, of identification with the “other”. Hybrid creatures conjure associations that are ancient, primal, and universal. They lurk on the margins of consciousness and serve as intermediaries between the “civilized” world and the dark netherworld of the unknown and untamed. From Greek myths of the fifth century B.C.E to modern scientific experimentation with bioengineering, the inter-species composite occupies our imagination and challenges notions about natural order.

The Portage series addresses issues of stewardship and mutual interdependence with other living beings.