Solarise: Florescence

Show Info

Solarise: A Sea of All Colors, 2015

Garfield Park Conservatory is lauded as one of the great architectural masterpieces in Chicago. Completed in 1907 by the famed landscaped architect Jens Jenson this revolutionary building opened as the largest conservatory in the world. The glass structure contains distinct gardens connected by a series of contiguous pathways runnning throughout the space. Majestic gardens present both contemporary and prehistoric plants in this vibrant environment. In 2011, a storm caused significant damaged to the glass building and the plants within the conservatory.

As part of an effort to raise awareness and draw public attention to the conservatory and rehabilitation efforts, Luftwerk was commissioned to create a series of year-long installations throughout the conservatory. Solarise: A Sea of All Colors contained five distinct installations; each in a different garden, developed with a distinct point of view to frame, highlight, and interpret important elements of the garden.

Florescence

Perception of color by plants varies greatly from humans. Through photosynthesis of the light spectrum, plants only register two colors: blue as the direction for growth and red as an indication to bloom. Florescence reflected this phenomenon in a canopy of 880 blue and red translucence petal shapes in the Show House of the conservatory. This canopy was activated by light shining through the glass ceiling. Throughout the day, the rising and setting of the sun resulted in a series of colored shadows cast across the floor and the plants below; a visual abstraction of this plant process.

Reviews:

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

Site
Garfield Park Conservatory
Fabrication
Chicago Flyhouse
Photography
John Faier, Peter Tsai
Commission
Chicago Park District

Materials: Mixed media, acrylic, suspension wire, LED lighting

Size: 40’ x 80’