These Dam Intestines

Digital Painting, 32" x 18"

Beavers control the flow of water through rivers. Similarly, bacteria influence the flow of information between the nerves of our gut and our brain, affecting our digestion, mood, and behavior. With this painting I reference the shape of the intestinal tract, the way it folds in on itself, by depicting a meandering river. Each part of the landscape alludes to part of the bacteria-intestines relationship. These parts are emphasized by the smaller, detailed paintings below.

Detail Images

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The inner lining of our intestines has thousands of protrusions that absorb nutrients from the food we eat. The bacteria in our gut impact how tightly packed or leaky these intestinal cells are, impacting what gets absorbed into our bodies. I designed the trees of These Dam Intestines to mimic these intestinal protrusions, and in this detailed image, some of the trees have been replaced with the depictions of those cellular protrusions, making the resemblance clear and emphasizing the meaning of the larger painting.

Digital Painting, 16" x 9"

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Digital Painting, 16" x 9"

This detail painting emphasizes the shape relationship between the flowers of the larger painting and the bacteria in the microbiome of our intestines. As the the flowers chain together along the stems and nestle in between the grasses, the bacteria chain together and live amongst the cells of our intestines. Begin to think about the bacteria of your intestinal microbiome as wildflowers growing within you, with the same potential for hidden beauty or thorns alike.