solarise | Garfield Park Conservatory

Show Info

A site-specific response to Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory, solarise: a sea of all colors is comprised of five dynamic, immersive installations: The Beacon, Portal, Florescence, Seed of Light, and Prismatic. Each artwork invites visitors to interact with color, light, and nature in new perspectives, heightening awareness for the viewer’s natural surroundings, the relevance of Jensen’s visionary landscape, and the architectural and societal significance of the building and its grounds.

The Beacon is activated by a live Internet feed that gauges the course and speed of the wind passing across Chicago. Translating this data to the LED lights affects the vibrancy, speed and dynamics of the installation. Dependent upon the weather, The Beacon creates a fluid gesture of light that mimics tall prairie grasses swaying in the breeze.

Portal performs as a frame for—and reflection of— the natural surroundings in which it is situated. With its multi-faceted use of mirrors, the installation mimics the slick of the reflection pool, while fragmenting and abstracting the figures of flora blooming in the space.

Inspired by the blue and red colors of the spectrum of sunlight plants use to photosynthesize growth, Florescence is a sculptural intervention of petals, hung canopy-like in an optical pattern. As the light passes through these filters, colorful shadows are cast throughout the entirety of the Show House.

Seed of Light is a kinetic chandelier of water and light inspired by the circular geometry of the Flower of Life—the universal symbol of creation. With each illuminated droplet, circular trays catch the water below, magnifying ripple shadows across the floor of the Conservatory’s Horticulture Hall.

Prismatic mimics the cross-sectional geometry of desert plants.

Architectural Record
CS Modern Interiors
New Media Caucus—College Art Association
Condé Nast Traveler
Architect Magazine
The Architect’s Newspaper
Time Out Chicago
Chicago Reader | People Issue 2015
The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studio

Project Consultant
Jeremy Olsen
Visual Identity
Sound compositions
Owen Clayton Condon
Lighting Consultant
CFDevices, Navillus Woodworks,
Chicago Flyhouse
John Faier, Peter Tsai
Supported by
The Chicago Park District, GPCA, ComEd, Exelon