oF gROVES... BY Lauren Fensterstock
Of Groves, Labyrinths, Dedals, Cabinets, Cradles, Close-walks, Galleries, Pavillions, Portico's, Latnerns, and other Relievo's: of topiary and Hortulan Architecture
opening reception, friday april 2, 6-8pm
On a recent trip to Italy, my companion and I marveled at the beauty of the landscape. “Why do we think it is so beautiful?” he asked “I do think it is beautiful, but why?” The landscape stretched out before us from the tiny leaves at our feet, to sheep grazing in neatly plotted farm pastures in the near distance, to a grand sweep of verdant mountains stretching out to an infinite sky. I proposed that the unique beauty of this vista lied in its distinct foreground, middleground and background, the view of which and the possibilities of combining the parts of, evoke both a microcosm and a macrocosm. Here we could see the scale of our bodies, the scope of man’s industry and the vastness of our world joining together in a singular view.
In this series of new works I draw from the history of garden design and botanical trade to reveal the influence of culture on our perceptions of nature. Meticulously constructed reproductions of botanical forms made of paper are both obscured and highlighted in shadow box frames filled with natural charcoal and sealed with reflective glass. The laborious details of the work are alternately hidden and revealed, fluctuating between dark voids, intricate gardens and reflections of the self. Like the Tuscan landscape, my hope is to combine the personal, the cultural and the infinite in a single view.