My art practice is centered upon imagery based on the natural world, with a particular dedication to the aquatic biome. I am fascinated with the tension between the benthic zone and the surface, a space in constant motion. Documenting oceanic, intertidal, and other tributaries and their adjacent ecologies, I am interested in making connections between these divergent places.

Participating in the conservation efforts of coral reefs, sharks, and other species, my creative research has taken me to various locations in the Caribbean, the Pacific, and most recently, the Mediterranean. The Atlantic Ocean is also a reoccurring location of study, as a quick drive from my home in central Virginia. The subsequent labor in the studio responds not only to the science but related emotional quandaries of an environment in peril.

Ultimately, my pieces are a concoction of fact, memory, and invention. This blend is a statement about the ambiguity of solutions in a time of crisis: what is real, what is hoped for—how our perception is as malleable as the paths of schooling--and shoaling-- fish in the sea.

A central component to my process is the scientific practice of field work: I seek out opportunities to assist scientists with research, to gain access to authentic visual experience and data. Equipped with a camera, my wet suit, snorkel gear and water-resistant notepad—it is important to me to acquire and then work with video that I capture myself. The field-work volunteerism has become a performative foundation to the work that is synthesized in the studio. 

Of late, I have been particularly interested in the connectivity between marine and terrestrial ecologies, cultural contexts of landscape, as well as other key dichotomies—such as such as health versus illness, macro versus micro, geological versus biological. My compositions bring creatures and environments together that may not normally exist in the same space. A large part of this intention is to emphasize the necessity of each ecosystem to the other: no one truly acts alone. As the intrepid marine biologist Sylvia Earle has stated: "“Even if you never have the chance to see or touch the ocean, the ocean touches you with every breath you take, every drop of water you drink, every bite you consume. Everyone, everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea.”

At its core, my work is a celebration of this vast and sometimes unimaginable natural beauty, but also contains an urgent plea for humanity to mindfully support these places through individual and collective action.*

--Lisa Tubach


* For more information about what you can do to help contribute to ocean health, visit these websites below, which highlight a number of critical and simple tactics:

Earle, Sylvia. The World is Blue: How Our Fate and The Oceans Are One. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2009.