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In my work I distinguish forms that are indicative of growth and explore the variance between experiences of an authentic natural encounter
vs. an inauthentic encounter. I look for the ways in which nature can be brought back into the course of one’s daily life.  I am intrigued by
areas where manicured nature is being reclaimed by the wild.  With my installations I engage viewers with the experience of a space being
overtaken by natural elements. I bring discarded particles from forestry floor together to be revivified in my constructions.

In the series entitled “Boundsticks” I investigate the association of a material to its point of origin and how its individual identity can be
strengthened when removed from its natural habitat.   For each installation I consider the site of collection for each branch or stick and how
it will relate to the whole of the installation. With a varied site collection process, I immerse myself deep into wooded areas and forestry
points, engaging with the habitat that has been created by nature. Each unit of the installation is given importance with a reference back to
its origin; a color marking denotes the area of collection.  In gathering fallen branches and sticks from trees, it is important that in this
process, I do not cut the limbs, my selection is made from branches and sticks that are found fallen from their parent tree.
Tree Canopy from “Outgrowth of Nature”
Exhibition at Art 101
•Out of the Woods: Boundsticks Installation
“Fallen Trunk” Drawing
“Out of the Woods”
Installation, Solo Exhibition at galerie OPEN
The materials for this installation were collected from the Grunewald forest, one of the largest green
areas in city of Berlin, the units were each individually marked from their respective collection sites
and installed at galerie OPEN in the urban center of Berlin
Through an interwoven and entangled binding system, I reactivate these fallen branches and limbs,
detouring them from the natural course of decay that would occur in that environment. As independent
units, their structural importance dissolves; they become disconnected, discarded from an active
whole.  These sticks as units of a living tree create a growth pattern that is determined by how they will
service the needs of the tree as a whole, when they are removed from this system of growth they
enter a larger system where they are of lesser immediate importance.  Through my intervention, the
branches are dislocated from their position in this larger system; their decay is delayed as their
identity is redefined within the context of a new structure.

The structure of the installations I create consider the architecture of its surroundings, specific to each
site, being determined by the physical limits of the space.  These pieces are created to mimic growth
forms similar to those of vines, but unlike vines, the installations are created in a closed circuit, with no
beginning and end.
“Out of the Woods”
Installation, galerie OPEN, Berlin, Germany
“Boundsticks Installation,” Govenor’s Island NY
Boundsticks Installation at Betty Cuningham gallery
“Traveling Landscapes” Installation at Art 101
With the series entitled “Traveling Landscapes”, vignettes of nature are
encapsulated within steamer trunks and train cases aged through travel.  
Displaced elements indicative of natural landscapes are presented in
partially opened cases, as to not fully expose the delicateness of what is
contained within.  Streams and rivers activate the scenes as they course
through the landscapes contained within the cases.  The illusion of life
and growth, illuminated within, reflects the desire to capture a part of
nature untouched by humans.   Used as a mediation device between the
lush pastoral scenes contained within and the harsh actuality of their
physical surroundings, the trunks and cases elicit visions of travel,
preciousness and possession.

Materials that are commonly defined as natural and artificial are
combined in the creation of these works, isolating aspects that are
indicative of the ‘natural’ (while sometimes are considered unnatural).  
The landscapes created are transformative in their illusion of a nature
scene; they are contained in traveling cases to magnify the displacement
of a seemingly natural landscape in an unusual framework.  These
pieces extenuate the desire for ‘untouched’ natural environments, and
the claim and proprietorship that are placed on plots of land, which
carries over to water rights.
The origin site of collection for my recent installations is the Grunewald forest, one of the largest
forests in Berlin.  Unlike the culture of the U.S. where the need for living spaces often overtake the
need for green spaces in urban locals, the city of Berlin protected the land and forest from aggressive
settlement plans in the early 1900’s.  With these installations I champion the preservation of forestry
areas, and as urban sprawl attacks countrysides, I aim to communicate the importance to retain some
areas as natural reservations.  Without this consideration, our communities will loose their ability to
commune with authentic nature and the precious areas of growth will be transformed into artificial
recreations that mimic true growth.
“Traveling Landscape” (maroon case)
“Traveling Landscape” (green case)
“Traveling Landscape” (medium black case)
“Traveling Landscape” (long black case
“Grunewald”
Art 101 Presents Kathleen
Vance
Traveling  Landscapes