Water is incredibly powerful and has the ability to shape our environment over time. It can carve canyons, move boulders and even wash away communities. I am fascinated by erosion – how it reveals the age of our planet, uncovers treasures from the past and provides a perspective of where we fit into the history of our planet. Water gives us a view of our place in time.

I am intrigued by the different paths water can take over years. A river bed is always changing. The process of water erosion served as an important metaphor for me in producing this work. My process for these paintings involves pouring paint on the canvas, letting it flow where it will, covering up parts of it with other layers of paint and then repeating the process by pouring more paint on and letting it flow naturally across the canvas. New layers form only to be stripped away again. By doing this, I hope to replicate the way a flowing body of water can change its course throughout time and, by doing so, alter the landscape of the surrounding area.

I also impose logic and geometry to the canvas the same way we, as humans, impose our logic on the landscape, only to have it marred by the power of nature. This body of work explores the tension we have with our environment, the desire to control what is around us, and the anxiety we feel when we realize that we must submit to forces that are beyond our command.

BIO: Nathan Mulford is a contemporary abstract painter who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. His artistic style is inspired by the colors and textures of Utah’s desert landscapes. His paintings explore the juxtaposition of concrete and abstract elements of memory, and how these elements inform personal narratives. He earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Utah with an Emphasis in Design in 2010.