L. Renee Nunez • Installation Art and Painting
Artist Resume


Synaptic Route: Endangered Species

synapse: the point at which a nervous impulse passes from one neuron to another

synaptic route: physical/chemical path in the “circuitry” of the brain made by the repeated passage of nervous impulses

Synaptic Route is a series of works using the grid and pattern to simultaneously document brain patterning and images of rare plants. Plant parts including the flower and fruit have a natural symmetry and intricacy - characteristics which lend themselves to the repetition of pattern making.

The idea for documenting brain patterning came from the term “muscle memory” which I learned as a professional modern dancer. Dancers and athletes in particular use this term to to describe the conjunction of mental memory and the conditioning of muscles to perform a particular movement or action. This idea for me spread into an exploration of patterns of thought, specifically those related to repetitive physical actions.

In the Synaptic Route series this means giving attention to the physical synaptic route activated in the brain while creating. I wanted to “watch” and determine the formation of a synaptic route as it happened and document it in my work. In order for the pattern to be precise enough for a habit to form I needed a base structure: the grid.

The grid allows for substantially exact repetitions of a drawing which appear almost mechanical. The process of repeated drawing enables a precise route to “burn” into the brain. Each painting is a program designed to create a synaptic route for each image selected. This series features endangered plant species, species of special concern and rare plants.

Replicating endangered plants artificially not only produces documentation of the synaptic route, but the pattern itself dematerializes the surface of the painting creating a state of mind not unlike meditation. In this stillness and quiet endangered plants can be contemplated.

Synaptic Route: Juglans Cinerea - 2008 - 30" X 40"
Synaptic Route: Invasion (Ziziphus Celata) - 2009 - 11.5" X 15" (l)
Synaptic Route: Asimina Tetramera - 2009 - 30" X 40" (r)
© L. Renee Nunez - except where stated