A little history

A little history of the INTO THE FOREST Installation.

In late August 2015, Laura Tabakman and Emily Squires Levine found themselves together at an artists’ retreat in Colorado.  High in the Rocky Mountains, they were surrounded by groves of aspen trees.  August in the mountains presents as early fall.  Crisp mornings, gusty winds, sudden thunderstorms.  The leaves on the aspens, not yet turned yellow but definitely on their way, respond to the wind:  Due to their unique stem structure, with just the slightest breeze, the leaves “quake”, producing the sound and shadows of fluttering butterfly wings. The bark, typically smooth and silver-gray, develops rough spots which turn an organic black.

Inspired by their surroundings, they decided to work on a small collaborative piece reminiscent of the aspen groves.  They created leaves from translucent clay. They attached the leaves with thin gauge wire to small aspen sticks and displayed them supported on a wire base.  They were both thrilled.

ItF- FirstCollaboration-20160705_225446lwrs

It was at this point that Laura suggested they go BIG and to consider doing a installation piece based on their small collaboration. Emily eagerly agreed.

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.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was at this point that Laura, again, suggested they go BIG and to consider doing a global collaborative installation piece.  Emily eagerly agreed.  Anticipating the massive undertaking they were about to begin, they asked Julie Eakes if she would be interested in working on the project as well.  Julie eagerly agreed.  

Julie, Emily and Laura

Special thanks to the Philadelphia based arts organization Inliquid for curating the show at the Park Towne Apartments and to InLiquid and Park Towne Apartments for sponsoring it. 

Special thanks also to Polyform, maker of Premo! polymer clay, for generously donating the clay for the installations.