Monday, January 25, 2010
This is something I just finished. It will be shown at FE gallery, for a show called H2O @ FE, opening Friday January 29 from 7 to 9pm.
"Life Fixture" is a terrarium inside a test tube inside an aquarium inside a light bulb in a light fixture.
If you have had any previous encounter with my work, you probably know that I am inspired and fascinated by nature. Also, you might know that I obsess over creating and observing miniature worlds, and worlds within worlds. The magnification of these worlds through viewing windows, lenses and domes, is possibly a reflection of my interest in looking at things up close, and absorbing the meticulous details of life. As a child I would spend time outside with a magnifying lens, looking at crevices and growths in my small yard, picturing vast landscapes and scenarios.
Lately I have been touched by the concept of contained ecosystems. It is only recently that I have begun adding living "elements" to my work. I am intrigued by the delicate balance and conditions that allow a small community of beings to live. I am also fascinated by the idea of capturing that harmonized system in a tiny jar. Maybe it is from the chaos in my life, that this need for contained harmony arises...
In this piece I was experimenting with some of these multiple interests. From the basic exploration and excitement in how a concave vessel of water can magnify the likeness of its contents, to the more complex atmospheric interactions needed to allow for life to be sustained, this project felt to me like a wonderful starting point, as well as continuation of my path. Working with inexpensive, found materials was another welcomed recurrence.
One of the neat things about this piece is that there is a level of interaction between the terrarium and the aquarium. In this setup, the slow evaporating water of the aquarium acts as a nurturing source of moisture for the terrarium. This is a first experiment on a theme I am exploring; something in the lines of an "island concept" of sorts (luckily whatever I am doing continues to escape my full grasp...)
Though very tiny, the life in this ecosystem is comprised of 3 terrarium plants, one big water-plant and 3 sea snails that eat it. The plant feeds on the abundant light that seeps through the glass, and the snails keep it well trimmed. Occasionally, I add some tap water which renews the mineral nutrients of the little world.
And now for the grand -or preferably minuscule- finale... if only you saw how cute these sea snails are!!!!