Susan Alderman

In creating my graduating work, I explore the medium of the laser cutter by pushing its conventional boundaries, use, and function. By working with the laser cutter to cut into natural materials such as bark and leaves, I challenge the fixed relationship between the natural and technological worlds, and play with the tension between algorithmic designs and the organic characteristics of natural forms.

I introduce botanical illustrations as an additional aspect into this work, with a focus on the historical role of women played, often as the unacknowledged illustrators, specimen collectors, and naturalists who made important contributions to science. Figures such as Georgiana Malloy and Maria Sibylla Merian are testaments of women’s presence in the male-dominated scientific fields.

This work brings into focus the importance of diversity in thinking in all creative disciplines including STEM. My work is created in a contemporary Makerspace, where the visibility of women is more important than ever as we move into a technological world.