Matthew Day Jackson’s Study Collection XII, is part of an ongoing series of sculptural installations intermixing an array of objects and ideas through scientific specimens, artifacts, and artworks. In previous iterations, Jackson’s Study Collections were comprised of found objects and studio experiments; the resulting works were developed through subconscious streams of thought. The artist’s new Study Collection is a conscious stream of thought, a culmination of a decade worth of ideas coming together in one work. American Manifest Destiny is challenged and mocked, however there is a serious and spiritual undertone in this work. The branches and nerves comprising the abstracted body are linked to higher spiritual ambition and progress, while the inclusion of the thistle (a non-native plant brought by pioneers) signals the the impact of Western European settlers on the evolution of the American landscape. These objects can be correlated to an anatomical structure, a model defining the development of humankind. Moreover, although the context of each element may not be known the viewer, together they form a visual narrative. This latest work, Study Collection XII, relates to Jackson’s earlier work, Study Collection #2 (Body) from 2009, which is included in the Zabludowicz Collection.