Boston-area artist Daniel Ranalli has spent 25 years engaging and collaborating with nature in his artwork. In his Snail Drawings series, Ranalli arranges snails on a beach and photographs the patterns they make as they move through the sand and around rocks. The “before and after” diptychs are fascinating to look at. I find myself amazed by these tiny creatures and the predictability or unpredictability of their movements, thinking about how much time has passed between the first photograph and the second. Such a unique experience can be made with nature if you slow down a little bit and patiently wait.
From Ranalli’s statement: “I tend to think of the snail pieces as a metaphor for the order we establish in our lives, and how the element of chance enters in to affect the result – regardless of how much we attempt to structure it. My rhythm of working is based on the tides, as the snails are sedentary at certain tides. They are much more active on the outgoing tides and typically move toward the sea.”
All images © Daniel Ranalli