Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rensing Tree

Above is my favorite tree at Rensing.  I gave her a visit today and after saying hello, turned around and headed back the way I came.  A little further down the trail I felt pulled to explore the little nook below.  A shiny glint of something caught my eye (found out later it was the mineral mica), I crouched down by the water's edge to get a closer look and a wonderful thing happened... 

I had one of those rare moments in adulthood when you find yourself doing something you did as a kid, like being hunkered over a stream looking at rocks, and you're getting dirty and it starts to rain but you don't care because you're lost in curiosity.  You are connected to that long-since-used child brain that runs on wonder.  It is such an important thing to be reminded of.  -Layla Luna

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Patterns Reinterpreted from Nature

I was excited to travel to the comfy backwoods of Pickens, South Carolina where I knew I’d have the opportunity to fully immerse myself in my artistic practice at the Rensing Center. This type of immersion is difficult to do with a busy teaching schedule during the academic year. Luckily, I was able to procure ten rich and productive days.
Immediately after arriving at the Rensing Center, I found myself seduced by the captivating scenery and environment. There is a sense of serenity and stillness here that simply isn’t accessible in urban life. The milieu of the Rensing Center, the land, setting, and power of the environment, would be the catalyst for my work over the next 10 days. The peaceful landscape includes twenty some acres of green grass, goats, cows, and a surplus of hundred year old trees. Amidst this vast acreage is a wonderful nature trail that I leisurely hiked several times each day. On my very first hike I began to record and document my environment along the trail. Elements and variables recorded along the path included; trees, slope of trail, leaves, sounds, weather, the creek, temperature, plant life, and flowers. By reinterpreting the information along the trail through patterns, I was able to translate the land into another physical form - creating a hybridity between topography and art. 

The patterned artwork on the left shows documentation that visualizes elements recorded along the nature trail. Every 10 steps are marked with a specific color that designates downhill, uphill, flat, and extreme downhill. The number of rectangular and horizontal shapes in each column represents the amount of trees visible along the edge of the path. The artwork reads from top to bottom, starting with the top left corner of the composition. I’m currently rendering drawings on top of the print that correspond with the amount of leaves and branches fallen along the path. All of this data is recorded in the notes seen left of the artwork.

 ~Kelly Monico | Denver, Colorado