Works of art may depict a landscape, or they may alter it. This sixth addition to the “EyeShow”—a series of commissioned works by local artists for an ongoing virtual gallery in the Independent—does both, but in a reduced dimension, and one not limited to the web page.
Debbie Hesse describes below the boundaries she fashions - and transgresses:
“My artwork is concerned with the intersection of natural and synthetic nature. I create small sculptural objects from magnets, paint and iron chips, which I insert into my installations to explore the tension between endurance and fragility.
“Lichens can survive thousands of years under extreme conditions, yet die instantly when touched by humans. They occur in the most extreme environments on both organic and artificial structures. These works reflect the dual nature of their natural counterparts; when handled, magnetic attraction forces individual units to merge, dissolving form.
“For this project, I have played around with scale and context, documenting artificial lichen forms, which are inserted into various situations and sites, photographed and organized into a virtual slide show.
“As a physical counterpart to the virtual exhibition, I have printed some of the lichen “portraits” on durable outdoor magnets and planted them around New Haven, mostly at sites in flux such as construction zones – the most obvious juncture of destruction and renewal. If you stumble across any in your daily travels, feel free to handle, re-configure, re-locate or keep them; they are hardy and resilient and symbols of new growth, hope and possibility.”
More information about this artist can be found at her website.