The Space Between Statement
Margaret Keller
 
400 acres of cave-studded woods with wild turkey and copperheads filled the cliffs and ravines that used to be my home.  Now I live in an urban environment where it’s hard to take a walk on anything but cracked asphalt or concrete.  Or to see even a fragment of nature left uninterrupted by human intervention.  And like most, my prime experience of nature is filtered digitally through photographs, video, film, animation and art.  This distance, layers removed from the source, is where the natural world becomes blurred, cleaned, an emotional construction and just a memory. 
 
The move from rural to urban led to my series, The Space Between, where each round painting catches an ambiguous trace of nature.  I was looking at the spaces between clouds, branches and trees, where shapes reiterate themselves.  Initially, elements such as branches and trees were identifiable in my paintings as I depicted the spaces between them.  Over time, my work transitioned into less literal representations of nature where the boundary between micro and macro spaces was no longer distinct.  Recently, I discovered an exciting relationship. Not only did the repeating shapes function independently as crucial visual elements, these same shapes were also the structural basis for much of the natural world, especially the hexagon.  This realization generated the concept for my site-specific installation proposal, which is the three-dimensional outgrowth of my paintings. 
 
The Space Between series is expanding from two-dimensional paintings into a cluster of domed structures including an oversized, hand-made paper simulation of a hornet’s nest, a hybrid beaver lodge built with mud, branches and interior electronics, and futuristic geodesic domes whose interior walls are papered with digital images showing remnants of nature. Each hemispherical structure in the installation shares a common geometry and pattern based on the hexagon and circle. These objects are all domiciles, incubators or havens from an imagined timeline where certain disparate species have evolved into new forms as a matter of survival.  I am emphasizing the adaptive qualities of this community by incorporating disjunctive, unexpected elements into each object, such as Ipads mounted to the interior walls of the beaver lodge.  Uninhabited except for a solitary, mutant, pink hornet cast in clear resin, this work situates itself between loss and potential.  This precise moment of our increasing separation from nature, I feel, coincides with the tipping point.  To survive, all living things will have to adapt
 
I hope this installation serves as a transport for the viewer into an unknown place of beauty, memory, interconnectedness and adaptation. 
2017
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