Kathleen Vance presents “From the Woods” an installation for Brooklyn’s Open Source Gallery, opening on October 13 with nature walks with the artist in Prospect Park on October 6 and October 7.
Working with natural materials, Vance’s installations utilize tree litterfall from selected forestry points, translating the unique identity of each site to an indoor space. In this exhibition, Vance collects fallen branches and sticks from indigenous trees in Brooklyn’s own Prospect Park to create an installation. She reactivates these fallen limbs, detouring them from the natural course of decay of their environment, redefining them within a new context and space. The local collection points for each each stick are considered, as their relationship to the forest is transferred to the form and construction of the installation. Taking cues from the trees that provide Vance with the material; this installation interprets the internal form of the park’s natural, organic formations and creates a wholly new vision of the forest.
Prospect Park’s Midwood forest was selected as the origin site for this installation because of its importance as the oldest remaining native forest in Brooklyn. Harboring the last remaining eastern deciduous forest in Brooklyn, the park is unique example of an attainable balance between native nature and urban growth. With this installation, Vance amplifies components and themes specific to Midwood forest and juxtaposes them against the architecture of the gallery. She uses this unique gallery space, a converted historic carriage house that reminds one of farmland and a less developed Brooklyn, to engage the viewer with the experience of a space being overtaken by natural elements.
Kathleen Vance has exhibited extensively in New York, nationally and internationally having several solo exhibitions at galerie OPEN in Berlin, Germany. Vance has received grants from the Puffin Foundation and the Brooklyn Arts Council for her environmental art projects and was selected as a visiting artist in Berlin, Germany in conjunction with the Grunewald Parks Department, galerie OPEN and RSProjects. The gallery’s interaction with nature will also take place through a two nature walks (Saturday, October 6 and Sunday, October 7) with Vance and botanist Heidi Langeneckert in Prospect Park. Here the public can learn the nature and history of the trees and plants in Prospect Park, as well as participate in and learn about Vance’s process by helping to collect branches.