wholey video installation
still from “wholey,” projected image on spinning cylinder, 1999


Courtney Egan
b. 1966
New Orleans, Louisiana

Courtney Egan is a lens-based media artist, photographer and naturalist who weaves the tradition of botanical art with sculpture and digital technologies, creating otherworldly projections that can interact with architecture and sculptural elements. Strongly inspired by the profusion of urban flora in New Orleans where she has lived, worked, and taught since 1991, Courtney’s artworks reflect broad concerns about the relationship between human life and the plant world.

Courtneyโ€™s primary art practice positions the plant world as an equal cohort to the human world. She creates animated collages that merge time-lapse photography with digital image manipulation, creating realistic, yet subtly impossible arrangements. Multiple media such as sculptural 3D elements, animated 3D elements like shadows and textures, as well as depth camera-based interactivity may comprise individual pieces. Learning the ecology of the Gulf South region is an ongoing process for Courtney that informs her artwork. She is a volunteer with the Louisiana Master Naturalists and participates in a community native wildflower meadow with Civic Studio, a New Orleans-based collaborative.

Courtneyโ€™s ongoing research reveals complex plant histories, plant economics, and lore, and foregrounds the ecology of the natural world in daily life. Her animations give viewers a new, mediated experience of plants and asks for people to consider the plant world as equal partners with us in the stewardship of the earth.

“We get closer, and farther away, from the natural world simultaneously when we experience it through a technological lens.”