These precious 'traveling landscapes' live in vintage suitcases

Kathleen Vance
© Kathleen Vance

The escape into wilderness is a long-established theme that emerges time and time again in books and films about coming-of-age stories, or the perennial search for self and self-sufficiency. Pristine nature is a symbol of power and regeneration, something that often arouses a sense of wonder and awe in many of us.

Hoping to capture a sense of this primal life, New York City-based artist Kathleen Vance constructs "vignettes of nature" out of real plants, running water, as well as some artificial elements such as resin and model-making materials. These three-dimensional snapshots of nature are neatly contained within vintage suitcases and steamer trunks, suggesting exploration and travel in a microcosm of a larger world.

Kathleen Vance© Kathleen Vance
Kathleen Vance© Kathleen Vance
Kathleen Vance© Kathleen Vance

Vance explains the concept behind these “Traveling Landscapes”:

Streams and rivers activate the scenes as they course through the landscapes contained within the cases. The illusion of life and growth, illuminated within, reflects the desire to capture a part of nature untouched by humans. Used as a mediation device between the lush pastoral scenes contained within and the harsh actuality of their physical surroundings, the trunks and cases elicit visions of travel, preciousness and possession.

Kathleen Vance© Kathleen Vance
Kathleen Vance© Kathleen Vance
Kathleen Vance© Kathleen Vance

According to Vance, these bucolic scenes also evoke interesting questions about displacement and our notions of ownership of land and water. When separated into discrete and portable pieces as such, disconnected from the rest of the natural world, is it still 'natural'? When we claim ownership over parcels of land like this, are we -- on a psychological level -- severing and displacing ourselves from the greater and interconnected order of things?

Kathleen Vance© Kathleen Vance
Kathleen Vance© Kathleen Vance

These are questions that aren't answered so easily. But it's important that they are asked, and art such as this is one way to go about it. To see more, visit Kathleen Vance.

[Via: This Is Colossal]

Tags: Artists | Arts | Recycled Consumer Goods

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