Muriel Guépin Gallery is pleased to present an exhibit of natural beauty. Both women have found their interest amongst the pages of botanical illustrations, and within forests. Their muses are the found fallen leaves, and the buds of flowers that haven’t fully grown. Marrying both human and nature again, their work is a tribute to nature. While Susanna Bauer’s hand and intervention is perhaps more tangible, with leaves surrounded with a skillfully created crocheted halo of cotton yarn or leaves carefully sewn together, Leigh Anne Lester works in inventing new textures of plants by adding layer upon layer of botanical illustration and cell-like structures atop one another. Susanna Bauer’s leaf sculptures marry the natural world back together with the manmade. Her intricate editions of crochet and sewing join the two worlds together in an almost seamless manner. Her delicate shaping of the leaves gives them all a life of their own, they dance and sway even without the wind. It almost seems like Bauer is mending the dead leaves, as the work of an antique restorer, inviting us to slow down and open our eyes to the small details and the preciousness of the world that surrounds us. There is a fine balance in her work between fragility and strength, vulnerability and resilience reflecting nature as a whole or the stories of individual beings. Leigh Anne Lester creates mixed-media versions of amalgamate plant species. Her highly detailed botanical illustrations are coupled with bursts of color, and her use of drafting film to work in layers makes the color blocks mimic the look of stained glass. The depth created by the layers of paper form a veil of mystery, like slowly moving thru a dense rainforest, pushing vines and leaves out of the way. The delicate placement of the color forms burst and scatter like fireworks, yet their puzzle-piece formations resemble the cell structures within a plant. Her work deals highly with the experimental scientific aspects of nature. Lester’s work touches upon the genetic modification of plants, and the process through time in which nature around us has morphed. Such transformations and possibilities are as exciting as frightening but there is certainly beauty in the unkown.