To produce something entirely new from the materials of our own body may seem like a Godly act, but it is all too human.

In her first solo exhibition with Hashimoto Contemporary, In Orbit, artist Devra Fox uses delicately rendered alien-like plantlife to express the strange normality of growing a life inside oneself. The San Francisco-based artist’s new series of surreal graphite drawings explores how bodies, like plants, grow and reorient themselves to hold and respond to each other, offering tender yet unfamiliar imaginings of pregnancy.

Mirrored images and twins appear often in this body of work, stressing how the knowledge implanted in us by biology tends towards reproduction. The pair of Nascent drawings depicts flowering bodies with large openings and long, languide stems like fallopian tubes. Up grows firmly towards the imagined sky on top of a slender female finger, while Down slumps towards the imagined ground, saved by the same caring hand. This imperfect reflection underscores that when bodies are bound to each other—even through invisible, gravitational relationships—they might grow together or wither for the other to live. Still, the pairs that appear in In Orbit are largely symbiotic creatures whose existences are completely intertwined within, as the artist puts it, “a new sphere of dependence and trust.” Even when separated, they orbit each other, their trajectories tied to the movements of the other.

Highlighting the parallels between plant life and human bodies, the figures in these drawings move through cycles of growth and decay, tethered by mycelium-like pathways of connection or holding each other like vessels. Uteral plant creatures with long willowy limbs extend out of bulbous, swollen mounds, rendered in graphite and red lead on white and cream paper. Being bloated, swollen, may evoke discomfort, tightness, excess, but Fox’s distended figures seem relaxed, even at ease with the beings that are pushing up out of their bodies or growing within—they adapt, adjust, reconfigure themselves to make space for someone new.

Compelled by a desire for and expression of bodily containment, Devra Fox’s works embody the power of nature and our powerlessness to sway it. She questions how our reactions to unpredictability seep outside our bodies, creating physical and emotional attachment to environments and objects around us. Through the meticulous and meditative practice of graphite drawing in a monochromatic palette (think gray, red, blue), Fox’s artwork pulls on our imaginations to consider the physical manifestation of our emotions, and how our self might be contained beyond our own bodies. Fox received her BA in Studio Art from Bard College and MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University. Fox participated in residencies at Pocoapoco, The Women’s Studio Workshop, The Vermont Studio Center and Kala Art Institute. Fox’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.