|Faith in a Seed, 2012, Multi-media installation
In the installation Faith in A Seed, miniature replicas of three 19th Century housesCharles Darwin’s Down House, Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden, and Sir John Bennet Lawes’ Rothamsted Manorslowly disappeared, overtaken by the gardens in which they reside. The transformation occurred over the course of a ten-week exhibition at Art in General in New York.
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Three wooden walls, 22 by 8 feet, formed a triangle in the center of the exhibition space. Enclosed within was a seedbed divided into three gardens and artificially lit by high pressure sodium grow lights. Each section contained a model building formed out of actual photographs of the represented buildings. Around each was seeded different types of edible plants:
Charles Darwin’s Down House -- Dandelions
John Lawes’ Rothamsted Manor -- Sweet Corn
Henry Thoreau’s Cabin -- Bush Beans
Surrounding the seedbed were positioned 4 SLR digital cameras set to photograph views of the plants and the buildings every 3-10 minutes as the plants grew over the course of 12 weeks (exhibit was open to the public two weeks after seeding). The cameras were repositioned every week to take in different views and details of the evolving garden.
The collected images were used to make three time-lapse videos based on the plants surrounding each building. They were projected onto the walls of the gallery and updated six times during the course of the exhibit to reflect the growth occurring on each section of land.
Viewers were invited to witness the garden overrun the buildings in this controlled but fragile ecosystem in two additional ways: from an elevated viewing platform attached to the garden walls and through magnified peepholes cut into the sides of the walls.