Ranch & Coast Magazine

February 2023

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Page 75 of 91

E NTERING 2023, THE WORLD IS recovering from a planetary pandemic that continues to impact travel, trade, and the way we carry out our daily lives. Not surprisingly, there has been powerful artwork created over the past few years highlighting our sense of separation, instability, and sadness. "e pandemic brought forward a lot of things. Like everyone else, I was in isolation, dealing with feelings of fear — fear of death, fear of loss. I was working through that mental instability with the rest of the world, but I wanted my work to be uplifting, to be helpful in getting through," says Rachel Berkowitz, a 29-year- old artist of international renown with a pronounced interest in biophilia, a design concept that includes elements of nature in the built environment, from natural forms and textures to natural light and materials. "For me, nature has a meditative quality and provides a sense of grounding. I'm very interested in how my artwork can bring that to a space," explains Berkowitz, who rediscovered her connection with nature and the natural environment while traveling across the United States in 2016. at was the concept Berkowitz had planned to explore when she began an artist residency in a chateau on the French Riviera just prior to the pandemic in early 2020. One of the things Berkowitz enjoys about residencies is that they allow her to focus on her work with few distractions. Right then, however, there was a distraction so overwhelming that it had the attention of the entire world. "A lot of my art stems from emotional constructs, and as I painted, the work became a kind of spiritual meditation," says Berkowitz, who was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised in London. "When someone sees it, I want them to have that same spiritual moment." RACHEL BERKOWITZ: PHOTO BY VINCENT KNAKAL Biophilic Harmonies Bridging the divide between fine art and design BY BILL ABRAMS detour culture ranchandcoast.com 76 FEBRUARY 2023 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE

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