I was added to a closed group called Into The Forest by my friend and talented artist Leila Bidler. It took a couple of posts, before I realised that the members, which had almost all the stalwarts of the clay world, and other mixed media artists, were invited to participate in a collaborative mixed-media art installation !
It started as a combined effort of three artists, Laura Tabakman, Emily Squires Levine, and Julie Eakes. As mentioned in the blog,
The initial result was INTO THE FOREST: Early Growth, an installation at Park Towne, a mid-century historically certified apartment complex in Philadelphia. From the exhibit program, “The immersive installation, made specifically for Park Towne Place, is reminiscent of a grove of aspen trees. The handmade forms mimic nature without attempting to retreat it. Certain elements are pleasantly exaggerated, such as the leaves made from translucent clay. Allowing for creative departures, the artists’ styles complement one another as an environment is created that blurs the line between natural and man-made.”
It all began in the August of 2015 You may read about the history here. Since then, Laura suggested that the istallation be given a wider scope, and make it a collaboration of artists on a global level. The invite was for clay and mixed media artists to contribute flora and fauna to make the forest.
It seems like there is a representation from almost all the countries, and most of the USA. The final tally is yet to be done!
As for my humble contribution, I made two types of mushrooms, and two variety of leaves. For the mushrooms, I tried to go for ones that were not common to me.
The first one I made, was the Sparassis mushroom, commonly known as the Cauliflower mushroom. I made small ones, on a rock, the rock, and the moss are also clay , over a thermocol form. A few more of the fungi have been made. they can be attached together to form a whole big mushroom, or left in pieces.
The second , i was just going for some shade of mushroom , that was not the usual red caps, or creamy, off-white ones. I settled for yellow, and I loved a few that grew in bunches, but had these cute sort of indents in the middle. And I dotted shades of brown, for added interest. Given below, are the results of my online search, that inspired me.
Next came the leaves, and I made a few green leaves, but gave them parallel veins. The next were some pinkish leaves with yellow markings, that were a memory from our childhood. Those leaves flanked the gate of my mother's ancestral home, where we spent some great vacations. The actual leaves were much longer and thinner. But I was not sure if they would survive the trip from India to Pittsburg Pennsylvania in one piece. So I made them shorter and a bit wider. But the pink hue, is exact, if my memory serves me right.
And the whole set
The whole installation will be open to the public in November. This is the invite.
I will be posting the progress of the installation, as we are updated of the same..