VALANCE

Valance is an architectural tapestry. Digital patterns appropriate nature as ornament, etching away the reflective side of mirrored acrylic. Complex digital photographs of plant material become a surreal web of fragility under hard mirror. Lasers are subverted into decorative tools, confusing and warping space.

The mirrored cylinder is supported by structural steel, with back-lit neon lighting. Its cylindrical shape expresses masculinity, hardness and dominance, juxtaposed to delicate and fragile patterning and texture. The hard surface of mirror becomes a soft topographical textile, expressing interior patterning. Reflective acrylic surfaces are laser-etched, creating the illusion of texture on the flat panels. This illusion continues, as only the reflection of a visitor may penetrate the closed cylinder. Self-image is blended with ornamentation, distorting space and self. During the day the sculpture appears as a mirage of reflection. At night, eight shades of white light dominate.

Valance questions our assumptions about natural vs. man made. The precedent of human intervention interceding with nature's original design, informs the regenerative and manipulated images. Various plant materials interweave into a patterned print, including lupine, cherry and sumac. The Old Mission Peninsula, which extends off the northern bay of Traverse City Michigan, is an important historical site where botanists experimented grafting cherry and apple varieties we eat today. The artist's family farm housed many botanists, inspiring this project. She documented her family's cherry orchard through drawings and photographs, stitching images together into new pattern repeats and digital models.

Exhibited at Art Prize 2014, and during the 2015 Acadia Architecture conference and subsequent publication Computational Ecologies: Design in the Anthropocene