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Work Samples

Checkmate

site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, architecture, ivy, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Oval Library, Laura Amussen
Checkmate, 2020 - Artificial Ivy - Site-specific installation. While exploring Ladew Topiary Garden’s 22 acres of gardens and the historic Manor House, sculptor-in-residence, Laura Amussen found herself reminded of Mother Nature’s unwieldy propensity to consume abandoned or unattended structures and objects. In the Oval Library, a single sprig of ivy creeps through a grate on the floor. Visible through the window—just beyond the threshold—the ivy blankets the ground.

Checkmate - ivy grate detail

site-specific installation, sculpture, environment, landscape, architecture, ivy, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Oval Library, Laura Amussen
Checkmate, 2020 - Artificial Ivy - Site-specific installation. While exploring Ladew Topiary Garden’s 22 acres of gardens and the historic Manor House, sculptor-in-residence, Laura Amussen found herself reminded of Mother Nature’s unwieldy propensity to consume abandoned or unattended structures and objects. In the Oval Library, a single sprig of ivy creeps through a grate on the floor. Visible through the window—just beyond the threshold—the ivy blankets the ground.

Oval Library Topiary Folly

site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, architecture, ivy, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Laura Amussen
Oval Library Topiary Folly, 2020 - Gazebo, artificial ivy, second-hand artificial flowers - 9.5’ x 12.5’ x 9.5’. Taking cues from the ivy infiltrating the Oval Library, but also inspired by the follys, gardens, and topiaries found in Ladew’s gardens, Oval Library Topiary Folly, delightfully brings the inside out, a merger of both landscape and architecture. A large oval gazebo provides the framework for this structure, as again artificial ivy and flowers overtake the building. Most of these artificial flowers were bought second-hand, a deliberate choice by the artist.

Embedded in the seed is the blossom waiting to unfold

site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Laura Amussen
Embedded in the seed is the blossom waiting to unfold, 2020 - Armature, second-hand artificial plants and flowers - 42” x 48” x 48”. Inspired by the abundance of seedpods that blanket Ladew’s Wildflower Meadow, Amussen renders the seed larger than life and draws parallels between nature and femininity, in her piece, Embedded in the seed is the blossom waiting to unfold.

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About Laura

Baltimore County

Laura Amussen's picture
In 2006, Laura Amussen received her MFA from Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art where she was awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship and Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. Since graduating she has been an active participant in Baltimore’s local art scene. She is an adjunct III faculty member at Towson University and the Maryland Institute College of Art, as well as an independent curator. She was the director of exhibitions and curator at Goucher College for over ten years,... more

Flourish at Ladew Topiary Gardens

While exploring Ladew Topiary Garden’s 22 acres of gardens and the historic Manor House, sculptor-in-residence, Laura Amussen found herself reminded of Mother Nature’s unwieldy propensity to consume abandoned or unattended structures and objects. In the Oval Library, a single sprig of ivy creeps through a grate on the floor. Visible through the window—just beyond the threshold—the ivy blankets the ground. Its presence threatening to overtake the inlaid drop-leaf gaming table and side chairs before making its way to the oval partner’s desk. One can easily imagine—if given time—the ivy swallowing these interior relics whole, as Mother Nature creates topiaries of Her own. Amussen’s piece Checkmate brings this playful fantasy to life. Artificial ivy spreads across the floor and over the furniture, leaving visible only traces of the structures beneath.

Taking cues from the ivy infiltrating the Oval Library, but also inspired by the follys, gardens, and topiaries found in Ladew’s gardens, Oval Library Topiary Folly, delightfully brings the inside out, a merger of both landscape and architecture. A large oval gazebo provides the framework for this structure, as again artificial ivy and flowers overtake the building. Most of these artificial flowers were bought second-hand, a deliberate choice by the artist. By using artificial plastic plant material Amussen hopes to draw attention to our worlds ecological concerns regarding plastic consumption and pollution.

Inspired by the abundance of seedpods that blanket Ladew’s Wildflower Meadow, Amussen renders the seed larger than life and draws parallels between nature and femininity, in her piece, Embedded in the seed is the blossom waiting to unfold.

  • Checkmate

    site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, architecture, ivy, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Oval Library, Laura Amussen
    Checkmate, 2020 - Artificial Ivy - Site-specific installation. While exploring Ladew Topiary Garden’s 22 acres of gardens and the historic Manor House, sculptor-in-residence, Laura Amussen found herself reminded of Mother Nature’s unwieldy propensity to consume abandoned or unattended structures and objects. In the Oval Library, a single sprig of ivy creeps through a grate on the floor. Visible through the window—just beyond the threshold—the ivy blankets the ground.
  • Checkmate

    site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, architecture, ivy, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Oval Library, Laura Amussen
    Checkmate, 2020 - Artificial Ivy - Site-specific installation. While exploring Ladew Topiary Garden’s 22 acres of gardens and the historic Manor House, sculptor-in-residence, Laura Amussen found herself reminded of Mother Nature’s unwieldy propensity to consume abandoned or unattended structures and objects. In the Oval Library, a single sprig of ivy creeps through a grate on the floor. Visible through the window—just beyond the threshold—the ivy blankets the ground.
  • Checkmate - chair detail

    site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, architecture, ivy, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Oval Library, Laura Amussen
    Checkmate, 2020 - Artificial Ivy - Site-specific installation. While exploring Ladew Topiary Garden’s 22 acres of gardens and the historic Manor House, sculptor-in-residence, Laura Amussen found herself reminded of Mother Nature’s unwieldy propensity to consume abandoned or unattended structures and objects. In the Oval Library, a single sprig of ivy creeps through a grate on the floor. Visible through the window—just beyond the threshold—the ivy blankets the ground.
  • Checkmate - ivy grate detail

    sculpture, environment, landscape, architecture, ivy, Ladew
    Checkmate, 2020 Artificial Ivy Site-specific installation While exploring Ladew Topiary Garden’s 22 acres of gardens and the historic Manor House, sculptor-in-residence, Laura Amussen found herself reminded of Mother Nature’s unwieldy propensity to consume abandoned or unattended structures and objects. In the Oval Library, a single sprig of ivy creeps through a grate on the floor. Visible through the window—just beyond the threshold—the ivy blankets the ground.
  • Oval Library Topiary Folly

    site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, architecture, ivy, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Oval Library, Laura Amussen
    Oval Library Topiary Folly, 2020 - Gazebo, artificial ivy, second-hand artificial flowers - 9.5’ x 12.5’ x 9.5’. Taking cues from the ivy infiltrating the Oval Library, but also inspired by the follys, gardens, and topiaries found in Ladew’s gardens, Oval Library Topiary Folly, delightfully brings the inside out, a merger of both landscape and architecture. A large oval gazebo provides the framework for this structure, as again artificial ivy and flowers overtake the building. Most of these artificial flowers were bought second-hand, a deliberate choice by the artist.
  • Oval Library Topiary Folly

    site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, architecture, ivy, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Oval Library, Laura Amussen
    Oval Library Topiary Folly, 2020 - Gazebo, artificial ivy, second-hand artificial flowers - 9.5’ x 12.5’ x 9.5’. Taking cues from the ivy infiltrating the Oval Library, but also inspired by the follys, gardens, and topiaries found in Ladew’s gardens, Oval Library Topiary Folly, delightfully brings the inside out, a merger of both landscape and architecture. A large oval gazebo provides the framework for this structure, as again artificial ivy and flowers overtake the building. Most of these artificial flowers were bought second-hand, a deliberate choice by the artist.
  • Oval Library Topiary Folly

    site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, architecture, ivy, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Oval Library, Laura Amussen
    Oval Library Topiary Folly, 2020 - Gazebo, artificial ivy, second-hand artificial flowers - 9.5’ x 12.5’ x 9.5’. Taking cues from the ivy infiltrating the Oval Library, but also inspired by the follys, gardens, and topiaries found in Ladew’s gardens, Oval Library Topiary Folly, delightfully brings the inside out, a merger of both landscape and architecture. A large oval gazebo provides the framework for this structure, as again artificial ivy and flowers overtake the building. Most of these artificial flowers were bought second-hand, a deliberate choice by the artist.
  • Oval Library Topiary Folly

    site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, architecture, ivy, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Oval Library, Laura Amussen
    Oval Library Topiary Folly, 2020 - Gazebo, artificial ivy, second-hand artificial flowers - 9.5’ x 12.5’ x 9.5’. Taking cues from the ivy infiltrating the Oval Library, but also inspired by the follys, gardens, and topiaries found in Ladew’s gardens, Oval Library Topiary Folly, delightfully brings the inside out, a merger of both landscape and architecture. A large oval gazebo provides the framework for this structure, as again artificial ivy and flowers overtake the building. Most of these artificial flowers were bought second-hand, a deliberate choice by the artist.
  • Embedded in the seed is the blossom waiting to unfold

    site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Laura Amussen
    Embedded in the seed is the blossom waiting to unfold, 2020 - Armature, second-hand artificial plants and flowers - 42” x 48” x 48”. Inspired by the abundance of seedpods that blanket Ladew’s Wildflower Meadow, Amussen renders the seed larger than life and draws parallels between nature and femininity, in her piece, Embedded in the seed is the blossom waiting to unfold.
  • Embedded in the seed is the blossom waiting to unfold

    site-specific installation, contemporary art, sculpture, environment, landscape, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Laura Amussen
    Embedded in the seed is the blossom waiting to unfold, 2020 - Armature, second-hand artificial plants and flowers - 42” x 48” x 48”. Inspired by the abundance of seedpods that blanket Ladew’s Wildflower Meadow, Amussen renders the seed larger than life and draws parallels between nature and femininity, in her piece, Embedded in the seed is the blossom waiting to unfold.

Nourish

"There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself." -Brian Andreas

Our current cultural and political climate is fraught with tension, our lives increasingly more stressful, and the world more hectic. These truths demand our constant effort and attention. Thus, it’s important - and difficult – to take time to replenish our mental, physical, and emotional reservoirs. Nature offers humanity reprieve and provides pictorial and poetic narratives: a moss blanket comforts a broken soul; a nest bursts from and engulfs a birdcage; a large-scale, site-specific, wall mounted mandala comprised of a thousand golden lotus seedpods begs the viewers to find stillness in contemplation; a wall of multicolored baskets symbolize our need to constantly hold and care for ourselves, especially when difficult life experiences arise; and, two smaller mandalas – one made of seeds, the other of Bodhi (ficus religiosa) leaf skeletons – speak of ritual and meditation. Transformed into visual expressions, materials become metaphor for these psychological associations. Each work relies on the repetition and expansion of a fundamental unit to explore the relationship of the physical to the psychological. In all the works, less is more. Spare forms and conceptual innuendo swiftly carry each work into the bio-philosophic. They establish connections between the inside and outside of the body and mind to consider our larger relationship to the natural world. The organic matter featured in this body of work metaphorically symbolize our collective human fragility; our need to be cared for and healed.

Nourish II

"There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself." -Brian Andreas

Our current cultural and political climate is fraught with tension, our lives increasingly more stressful, and the world more hectic. These truths demand our constant effort and attention. Thus, it’s important - and difficult – to take time to replenish our mental, physical, and emotional reservoirs. Nature offers humanity reprieve and provides pictorial and poetic narratives: a moss blanket comforts a broken soul; a nest bursts from and engulfs a birdcage; a large-scale, site-specific, wall mounted mandala comprised of a thousand golden lotus seedpods begs the viewers to find stillness in contemplation; a wall of multicolored baskets symbolize our need to constantly hold and care for ourselves, especially when difficult life experiences arise; and, two smaller mandalas – one made of seeds, the other of Bodhi (ficus religiosa) leaf skeletons – speak of ritual and meditation. Transformed into visual expressions, materials become metaphor for these psychological associations. Each work relies on the repetition and expansion of a fundamental unit to explore the relationship of the physical to the psychological. In all the works, less is more. Spare forms and conceptual innuendo swiftly carry each work into the bio-philosophic. They establish connections between the inside and outside of the body and mind to consider our larger relationship to the natural world. The organic matter featured in this body of work metaphorically symbolize our collective human fragility; our need to be cared for and healed.

AFLOAT I

"The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace" -Kate Chopin, The Awakening

As the former director of exhibitions and curator at Goucher College, I gained invaluable experience and insight pertinent to artistic and curatorial practice. As an artist, I brought that knowledge with me to the cavernous main gallery space of Baltimore's Creative Alliance. By applying a curatorial approach to my artwork, I used the gallery as a laboratory through which to experiment with process and work through ideas. This work came from an honest, tender and vulnerable place. AFLOAT is the culmination of my personal experiences over a 75 month period, including the end of a 17 year marriage, coming to terms with my sexuality, and the death of my mother. By way of sculpture, site-specific installation, photography, projection, video, and performance AFLOAT gives physical expression to what it means to carry mental and emotional baggage--the psychological jumble we accumulate, the worries, the burdens, the weight. Using water and a wide variety of elements associated with water, the works symbolize struggle and survival; they speak to being saved and saving oneself.

  • AFLOAT at The Creative Alliance

    Gallery installation view of AFLOAT, a solo exhibition at The Creative Alliance.
  • CAUGHT

    Drift wood, netting, Seventy-five 5" x 7" canvases. Dimensions variable.
  • CAUGHT

    Drift wood, netting, Seventy-five 5" x 7" canvases. Dimensions variable
  • CAUGHT (detail)

    Drift wood, netting, Seventy-five 5" x 7" canvases. Dimensions variable
  • SHIFT

    Ten canvases, each 8" x 24" x 1.5", tissue paper, natural materials. Dimensions variable
  • VAST and DRYLAND

    VAST, Large scale photograph, approx: 6000 metal rim tags, and nails. 5.75' x 16’ x 1” DRYLAND, Sand and wood. 4” x 16' x 6' A large scale photograph of the ocean was punched into nearly 6000 circles, adhered to metal rimmed tags, then hung on individual nails. At a distance, VAST is a wall of water that alludes to glints of sun reflecting off the surface of the ocean. Each image hangs loosely on a nail; the slightest breeze creates a moving and shimmering effect.
  • VAST (detail)

    VAST, Photograph, approx: 6000 metal rim tags, and nails. 5.75' x 16’ x 1” A large scale photograph of the ocean was punched into nearly 6000 circles, adhered to metal rimmed tags, then hung on individual nails. At a distance, VAST is a wall of water that alludes to glints of sun reflecting off the surface of the ocean. Each image hangs loosely on a nail, the slightest breeze creates a moving and shimmering effect.
  • BRINK (footprints)

    Performance, sand, installation
    Footprint remnants from seventy-five minute performance.
  • BRINK (performance documentation)

    Video of performance during opening reception of AFLOAT. Duration 75 minutes. Performers: Laura Amussen and Jes Contro. Looking out over the vast ocean, two lovers stand hand in hand on the brink of something new. Video: Ben Andrew. https://vimeo.com/80073397

AFLOAT II

"The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace" -Kate Chopin, The Awakening

As the former director of exhibitions and curator at Goucher College, I gained invaluable experience and insight pertinent to artistic and curatorial practice. As an artist, I brought that knowledge with me to the cavernous main gallery space of Baltimore's Creative Alliance. By applying a curatorial approach to my artwork, I used the gallery as a laboratory through which to experiment with process and work through ideas. This work came from an honest, tender and vulnerable place. AFLOAT is the culmination of my personal experiences over a 75 month period, including the end of a 17 year marriage, coming to terms with my sexuality, and the death of my mother. By way of sculpture, site-specific installation, photography, projection, video, and performance AFLOAT gives physical expression to what it means to carry mental and emotional baggage--the psychological jumble we accumulate, the worries, the burdens, the weight. Using water and a wide variety of elements associated with water, the works symbolize struggle and survival; they speak to being saved and saving oneself.

  • AFLOAT

    sculpture, life jackets, performance
    Wood, 75 life jackets. 18” x 8’ x 8’ Sculpture used to shoot video ADRIFT at Rocky Point Park.
  • ADRIFT (video/performance still)

    ADRIFT (video/performance still)
    ADRIFT (video/performance still)
  • ADRIFT

    Video: Floating on a raft at Rocky Point Park. (Video: Jes Contro, Editing: Travis Levasseur)
  • UNTITLED 1-14

    photography, life jackets, swimming, drowning, afloat
    "...deceptively revealing. They show a nude woman in what appears to be a swimming pool, but there’s nothing about the imagery that feels like a playful summer frolic. In one, the woman floats face down, a life jacket nearby. Slowly, you notice that, though it’s clear the photos were taken at a pool, they’re composed in such a way that the water swallows the frame: There is no visible avenue of escape. These are images of a human lost at sea with no safe harbor in sight." Bret McCabe Photographed by: Jes Contro
  • WEIGHT

    afloat, sculpture, installation
    "...a mixed-media sculpture of rust-covered floats, ropes, and pulleys, is an iceberg of dread. A single rope extends up the wall, like a vine crawling upward. Toward the floor the rope runs into a knot of other lines which are connected to rusted floats that sit in a pile on the floor.
  • WEIGHT (pulley detail)

    sculpture, installation, afloat
    "...a mixed-media sculpture of rust-covered floats, ropes, and pulleys, is an iceberg of dread. A single rope extends up the wall, like a vine crawling upward. Toward the floor the rope runs into a knot of other lines which are connected to rusted floats that sit in a pile on the floor.
  • TANDEM-ANCHOR

    sculpture, installation, salt, projection, sound, water, life jackets
    "a rectangle of salt on the floor creates a white beach screen, onto which a pair of ceiling mounted projectors stream images of water’s surface. Embedded in the salt sand is an anchor, a single line tethers it to a pair of life jackets sewn together. The untitled photos and the videos present a single character involved in the world Amussen creates for this exhibition; this piece is the only one where the suggestion of another person enters the picture.
  • TANDEM ANCHOR (Detail)

    Tandem Anchor (Detail)
    Tandem Anchor (Detail) - "a rectangle of salt on the floor creates a white beach screen, onto which a pair of ceiling mounted projectors stream images of water’s surface. Embedded in the salt sand is an anchor, a single line tethers it to a pair of life jackets sewn together. The untitled photos and the videos present a single character involved in the world Amussen creates for this exhibition; this piece is the only one where the suggestion of another person enters the picture.

AFLOAT III

"The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace" -Kate Chopin,The Awakening

As the former director of exhibitions and curator at Goucher College, I gained invaluable experience and insight pertinent to artistic and curatorial practice. As an artist, I brought that knowledge with me to the cavernous main gallery space of Baltimore's Creative Alliance. By applying a curatorial approach to my artwork, I used the gallery as a laboratory through which to experiment with process and work through ideas. This work came from an honest, tender and vulnerable place. AFLOAT is the culmination of my personal experiences over a 75 month period, including the end of a 17 year marriage, coming to terms with my sexuality, and the death of my mother. By way of sculpture, site-specific installation, photography, projection, video, and performance AFLOAT gives physical expression to what it means to carry mental and emotional baggage--the psychological jumble we accumulate, the worries, the burdens, the weight. Using water and a wide variety of elements associated with water, the works symbolize struggle and survival; they speak to being saved and saving oneself.

  • UNTITLED 1

    "...deceptively revealing. They show a nude woman in what appears to be a swimming pool, but there’s nothing about the imagery that feels like a playful summer frolic. In one, the woman floats face down, a life jacket nearby. Slowly, you notice that, though it’s clear the photos were taken at a pool, they’re composed in such a way that the water swallows the frame: There is no visible avenue of escape. These are images of a human lost at sea with no safe harbor in sight." Bret McCabe Photographed by: Jes Contro
  • UNTITLED 2

    "...deceptively revealing. They show a nude woman in what appears to be a swimming pool, but there’s nothing about the imagery that feels like a playful summer frolic. In one, the woman floats face down, a life jacket nearby. Slowly, you notice that, though it’s clear the photos were taken at a pool, they’re composed in such a way that the water swallows the frame: There is no visible avenue of escape. These are images of a human lost at sea with no safe harbor in sight." Bret McCabe Photographed by: Jes Contro
  • UNTITLED 3

    "...deceptively revealing. They show a nude woman in what appears to be a swimming pool, but there’s nothing about the imagery that feels like a playful summer frolic. In one, the woman floats face down, a life jacket nearby. Slowly, you notice that, though it’s clear the photos were taken at a pool, they’re composed in such a way that the water swallows the frame: There is no visible avenue of escape. These are images of a human lost at sea with no safe harbor in sight." Bret McCabe Photographed by: Jes Contro
  • UNTITLED 4

    "...deceptively revealing. They show a nude woman in what appears to be a swimming pool, but there’s nothing about the imagery that feels like a playful summer frolic. In one, the woman floats face down, a life jacket nearby. Slowly, you notice that, though it’s clear the photos were taken at a pool, they’re composed in such a way that the water swallows the frame: There is no visible avenue of escape. These are images of a human lost at sea with no safe harbor in sight." Bret McCabe Photographed by: Jes Contro
  • UNTITLED 5

    "...deceptively revealing. They show a nude woman in what appears to be a swimming pool, but there’s nothing about the imagery that feels like a playful summer frolic. In one, the woman floats face down, a life jacket nearby. Slowly, you notice that, though it’s clear the photos were taken at a pool, they’re composed in such a way that the water swallows the frame: There is no visible avenue of escape. These are images of a human lost at sea with no safe harbor in sight." Bret McCabe Photographed by: Jes Contro
  • UNTITLED 6

    "...deceptively revealing. They show a nude woman in what appears to be a swimming pool, but there’s nothing about the imagery that feels like a playful summer frolic. In one, the woman floats face down, a life jacket nearby. Slowly, you notice that, though it’s clear the photos were taken at a pool, they’re composed in such a way that the water swallows the frame: There is no visible avenue of escape. These are images of a human lost at sea with no safe harbor in sight." Bret McCabe Photographed by: Jes Contro
  • UNTITLED 7

    "...deceptively revealing. They show a nude woman in what appears to be a swimming pool, but there’s nothing about the imagery that feels like a playful summer frolic. In one, the woman floats face down, a life jacket nearby. Slowly, you notice that, though it’s clear the photos were taken at a pool, they’re composed in such a way that the water swallows the frame: There is no visible avenue of escape. These are images of a human lost at sea with no safe harbor in sight." Bret McCabe Photographed by: Jes Contro
  • UNTITLED 8

    "...deceptively revealing. They show a nude woman in what appears to be a swimming pool, but there’s nothing about the imagery that feels like a playful summer frolic. In one, the woman floats face down, a life jacket nearby. Slowly, you notice that, though it’s clear the photos were taken at a pool, they’re composed in such a way that the water swallows the frame: There is no visible avenue of escape. These are images of a human lost at sea with no safe harbor in sight." Bret McCabe Photographed by: Jes Contro
  • UNTITLED 9

    "...deceptively revealing. They show a nude woman in what appears to be a swimming pool, but there’s nothing about the imagery that feels like a playful summer frolic. In one, the woman floats face down, a life jacket nearby. Slowly, you notice that, though it’s clear the photos were taken at a pool, they’re composed in such a way that the water swallows the frame: There is no visible avenue of escape. These are images of a human lost at sea with no safe harbor in sight." Bret McCabe Photographed by: Jes Contro
  • UNTITLED 10

    pool, photographs, afloat
    "...deceptively revealing. They show a nude woman in what appears to be a swimming pool, but there’s nothing about the imagery that feels like a playful summer frolic. In one, the woman floats face down, a life jacket nearby. Slowly, you notice that, though it’s clear the photos were taken at a pool, they’re composed in such a way that the water swallows the frame: There is no visible avenue of escape. These are images of a human lost at sea with no safe harbor in sight." Bret McCabe Photographed by: Jes Contro

Indoor Sculptures and Installations I (Landscape/Architecture)

Influenced by environmental concerns as well as the rapaciousness of globalization these works encompass aspects of landscape and architecture in order to create metaphors of psychological space. In an increasingly globalized culture, a growing sense of placelessness makes it more and more difficult for us to place our own identity. These works are studies of geographic dislocation and its attendant complexities, as well as antidotes to the prevailing need to belong somewhere. In creating fictitious environments wrought with familiar details from built structures and the natural landscape the work is encoded with social and emotional values. In my restructuring of these elements, the familiar becomes unfamiliar, leading us to re-evaluate our sense of place in this energetic, overbuilt, and complex world. These fictitious environments blur the boundaries between landscape and architecture and scramble the distinctions between organic and synthetic. Ambiguous in nature they explore the experience of place - the accumulated life experiences of geographical places and psychological spaces.

  • Isolated Proliferation

    Styrofoam, Rust, and Artificial Thistle Plants. 36" x 48" x48" Inspired by environmental concerns about our worlds water and the impending water shortage this sculpture references a dried up water well, the interior of which has been overcome by thistle weeds creating a psychological metaphor of isolation and danger.
  • Isolated Proliferation (detail)

    Styrofoam, Rust, and Artificial Thistle Plants. 36" x 48" x48" Inspired by environmental concerns about our worlds water and the impending water shortage this sculpture references a dried up water well, the interior of which has been overcome by thistle weeds creating a psychological metaphor of isolation and danger.
  • Rapacious Cultivation

    Pre-fabricated greenhouses, artificial plants and flowers, foam, fake soil, plastic containers. Deconstructed multiple artificial plants and flowers to create different varieties of fictitious carnivorous plants based on real ones. The plants serve as a psychological metaphor for desire and hunger; the greenhouses foster the growth of a ravenous appetite.
  • Rapacious Cultivation

    Pre-fabricated greenhouses, artificial plants and flowers, foam, fake soil, plastic containers. Deconstructed multiple artificial plants and flowers to create different varieties of fictitious carnivorous plants based on real ones. The plants serve as a psychological metaphor for desire and hunger; the greenhouses foster the growth of a ravenous appetite.
  • Royal Pine

    1700+ hand cut pine scented air fresheners. 3’ x 14’ x 2’ Sculpture, referencing a topographical mountain range. Smelly indeed.
  • Royal Pine (detail)

    1700+ hand cut pine scented air fresheners. 3’ x 14’ x 2’ Sculpture, referencing a topographical mountain range. Smelly indeed.
  • Habitat, (end view)

    8' x 24' x 7' I created Habitat, a site-specific and site-responsive installation, for the Mezzanine Gallery at Appalachian State Universities Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. For this installation material, environment, form, and local ecology are united, creating an immersive experience within the gallery where sculpture and space appear to merge. Inspired by the endangered spruce-fir moss spider and its habitat, the piece draws on aspects of environmental concern as well as expresses local ecological properties.
  • Habitat, (side view)

    8' x 24' x 7' I created Habitat, a site-specific and site-responsive installation, for the Mezzanine Gallery at Appalachian State Universities Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. For this installation material, environment, form, and local ecology are united, creating an immersive experience within the gallery where sculpture and space appear to merge. Inspired by the endangered spruce-fir moss spider and its habitat, the piece draws on aspects of environmental concern as well as expresses local ecological properties.
  • The Empty Space Between Us

    Styrofoam, Rust, and Pipe. 5' x 5' x 4' (x2) Site-responsive installation, a metaphor of psychological space. Here my interest lies in relationships and the tensions that occur within them. This two-part piece resembles rocky outcropping found in the Southwestern United States deserts, while simultaneously referencing balconies, and overlooks. The positioning of the pieces is crucial to an understanding of the title. Here the empty space of the gallery between the two works becomes a metaphor for, "The Empty Space Between Us".
  • The Empty Space Between Us (scale)

    Styrofoam, Rust, and Pipe. 5' x 5' x 4' (x2) Site-responsive installation, a metaphor of psychological space. Here my interest lies in relationships and the tensions that occur within them. This two-part piece resembles rocky outcropping found in the Southwestern United States deserts, while simultaneously referencing balconies, and overlooks. The positioning of the pieces is crucial to an understanding of the title. Here the empty space of the gallery between the two works becomes a metaphor for, "The Empty Space Between Us".

Indoor Sculptures and Installations II (Body)

These sculptures and installations are informed by an awareness of the body; it’s functions, residuals, memories and emotions. Transformed into visual expressions, materials become metaphor for these anatomical and psychological associations. Each work relies on repetition and expansion of a fundamental unit to explore the relationship of the physical to the psychological. In all the works, less is more. Spare forms, and conceptual innuendo swiftly carry each work into the bio-philosophic, investigating the connections between the inside and outside of the body and mind. Content, material, process, and form are united creating sculptures and installations that provoke a strong visceral response.

Outdoor Sculptures and Installations

  • Verve

    Bamboo, metal armature, and wire. 14' x 16' x 3.5' Site-specific installation, created for Johns Hopkins Universities Evergreen House. In order to bring people together to enjoy and promote the arts former Evergreen matron, Alice Warder Garrett converted the gymnasium into a private theater. Here she entertained friends with her own performances as well as hosted the Musical Art Quartet every spring and fall for nearly two decades.
  • Verve (performance: dancer, Andrea Workman)

    Bamboo, metal armature, and wire. 14' x 16' x 3.5' Site-specific installation, created for Johns Hopkins Universities Evergreen House. In order to bring people together to enjoy and promote the arts former Evergreen matron, Alice Warder Garrett converted the gymnasium into a private theater. Here she entertained friends with her own performances as well as hosted the Musical Art Quartet every spring and fall for nearly two decades.
  • The Peterson's, The Enwhistle's, The Winkler's, The Facade

    Pre-fabricated Greenhouse, Artificial Trees, Plants, Flowers, Pots, Fake Soil, and Shelves. 8' x 6' x 8' Inspired by the onslaught of spousal murders which captured the attention of the media. In each of these three cases, the Peterson's, the Entwistle's and the Winkler's, families and friends were shocked by the murders. Each family did a very good job at keeping up appearances in other words, creating a fantastic fake facade which masked the turmoil that grew within.
  • The Peterson's, The Entwhistle's, The Winkler's, (The Facade), detail

    Pre-fabricated Greenhouse, Artificial Trees, Plants, Flowers, Pots, Fake Soil, and Shelves. 8' x 6' x 8' Inspired by the onslaught of spousal murders which captured the attention of the media. In each of these three cases, the Peterson's, the Entwistle's and the Winkler's, families and friends were shocked by the murders. Each family did a very good job at keeping up appearances in other words, creating a fantastic fake facade which masked the turmoil that grew within.
  • Topotecture

    Topotecture, (aerial view) 2007 Different sized painted bamboo trellises. Dimensions Variable. Site-responsive installation, simultaneously evokes landscape and architecture installed at American University, Katzen Center.
  • Topotecture, aerial view

    Topotecture, (aerial view) 2007 Different sized painted bamboo trellises. Dimensions Variable. Site-responsive installation, simultaneously evokes landscape and architecture installed at American University, Katzen Center.

Archiscapes

These fictitious environments blur the boundaries between landscape and architecture and scramble the distinctions between organic and synthetic. Ambiguous in nature they explore the experience of place - the accumulated life experiences of geographical places and psychological spaces.Influenced by environmental concerns as well as the rapaciousness of globalization my work has evolved to encompass aspects of landscape and architecture in order to create metaphors of psychological space. In an increasingly globalized culture, a growing sense of placelessness makes it more and more difficult for us to place our own identity. My new works are studies of geographic dislocation and its attendant complexities, as well as antidotes to the prevailing need to belong somewhere. I create fictitious environments wrought with familiar details from built structures and the natural landscape that are encoded with social and emotional values. In my restructuring of these elements, the familiar becomes unfamiliar, leading us to re-evaluate our sense of place in this energetic, overbuilt, and complex world. Ambiguous in nature they explore the experience of place - the accumulated life experiences of geographical places and psychological spaces.