INTERVIEW: Artist R Nelson Parrish Talks About His Eye-Popping Bioresin Color/Fast Installation
INHABITAT: You switched from a common resin to a bio-resin – why? And has it made a difference in your health?
R Nelson Parrish: I switched to bio-resin for a number of reasons. The first was health reasons. I was tired of smelling like a homeless person who slept in a toxic dump. And the long term effects of being overexposed directly result in cancer. I wasn’t too keen on the idea, and I want to make sure I can make art for as long as possible.
The second reason is that the bio-resin is a better resin. It is clearer, stronger, and archival. It doesn’t discolor or fade over time. Rey and Desi, two brothers who developed the resin, are great guys. They grew up surfing and skiing out of a VW bus up in the Bay Area. Which was great, because they immediately connected and understood the conceptual foundation of the work.
Lastly, the resin is simply better in the long haul. I would never claim to be an environmentalist, but I do believe in longevity. We, culturally, have to be conscientious stewards of the world we live in. We have to make small, simply everyday steps to have a fruitful effect. A journey of a 1,000 miles starts with a single step. And every small step helps.
Ultimately, the switch was a win win win.
INHABITAT: Who makes the bio-resin you use and what is it made out of?
R Nelson Parrish: Rey and Desi Banato at Entroy Resins. Awesome guys. They can give you the PhD. version, but in a nutshell it’s pine sap and biodiesel remnants.
INHABITAT: How does nature and the environment impact or inspire you?
R Nelson Parrish: In one word: constantly. A large component of the work is about moving through the landscape; skiing, surfing, biking, running, etc. Translating elated feelings of being completely connected to yourself or the environment. Or even those moments where you hike to the top of a hill, or you’re driving I-80, and you look out onto nothing but vast rollers and big sky. It’s sublime. I always tell people, if you really want to study color, go to Alaska. There is nothing quite like it.
But, in the end, I want people to go and get experiences. To motivate and inspire them to engage, interact, and challenge themselves and the world. That can only be done be heading out into the world and going for it. Nature is a wonderful playmate.
Images ©Bridgette Meinhold for Inhabitat
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