Herbarium obscura: shadow of nature

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Publication Type thesis project paper
School or College College of Fine Arts
Department Art/Art History
Creator Rivera, Nancy E.
Title Herbarium obscura: shadow of nature
Date 2016
Description Nature is ephemeral, fragile, and wild. Over time, we have learned to tame and control it: We grow lawns, cultivate houseplants, and manufacture synthetic facsimiles of nature for aesthetic and ornamental purposes. In this way and more, we manipulate how we experience and understand it. In my exhibition Herbarium Obscura: Shadow of Nature, I employ real and artificial foliage to evince nature as a material and a motif. Therein, the installation piece Hedera Helix poses a familiar natural sight: a facade of dense, lush English ivy. Hiding within it are small, precious objects, each, evoking its own narrative of loss and human connection. For Herbarium, I documented a collection of leaf specimens using the cyanotype process, a photographic process popularized by amateur scientists and botanists in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. I created photograms using leaves that I gathered from the natural world and the commercial world of plant shops, and I included artificial leaves that I discovered in craft stores. I further blur the line of authenticity by incorporating inkjet prints that have supplanted a number of the original cyanotypes. Through this act, I question how technology informs our perception of the real. These pieces document our contemporary landscape and explore the dichotomies between the natural and the artificial, remembrance and loss, and the mortal and the immortal. At its core, my work aims to reveal the multilayered structure of the natural world and questions how modern technological advancements reshape our perception of it. I investigate these concepts through photography, sculpture, and installation.
Type Text; Image
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Nature; Fine art
Alternate Title Master of Fine Arts
Language eng
Rights Management ©Nancy Rivera
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 586,531 bytes
Identifier ir-mfa/id/135
ARK ark:/87278/s6jh6sbx
Setname ir_mfafp
Date Created 2016-08-23
Date Modified 2016-08-23
ID 215070
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6jh6sbx
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