Lily Simonson: Painting the Deep presents six original mural-sized paintings that literally glow with luminescent pigments and together create an immersive visual experience in which light and color materialize out of a sea of darkness, giving form to a hidden alien universe. Through her extraordinary art, Simonson envelops us in this astonishing world, invites us to share in the excitement of exploration and discovery, and challenges our preconceptions of what it is to be alive.
Simonson’s work is inspired by explorations of deep-ocean life made in collaboration with Harvard University professor Peter Girguis. “Having Lily at sea, painting the creatures and the landscapes we study, is always an eye-opening experience,” says Girguis, head of the Girguis Laboratory in Harvard’s Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology. “Her art captures aspects and qualities that I don’t see in my photographs, or through my own eyes for that matter. It’s like seeing the deep sea—a world I’ve studied for over two decades—for the first time all over again."
Simonson’s art reflects a passion for the process of science, deep affection for the natural world, and dedication to seeking out and “bringing to light,” the beauty and mystery of places and life forms little known and rarely seen.