Springtime Vista, 2000

Springtime Vista

Cut photo mural with mobile
76 x 48 inches

Tea Garden Path/Springtime Vista uses the diagram of the stepping-stone pathway from an historic tea garden in Kyoto cut into a generic scenic mural to examine our culturally mediated relationship to nature and how it might reflect and influence our sense of time and place. The artwork forms a hybrid in which perceptions of nature overlap visually, culturally and historically.

On a formal level this piece complicates the illusion of depth in the scenic image by interrupting it with the incised diagram of the stepping-stones. The cut panel is hung to allow the cutout diagram to cast a shadow on the wall, an element that acts as an index of the present and serves to extend the inherent interplay of time and place in the work. The cut-out “stones” are pulled out from the mural and reconfigured into a mobile element, activated by the viewer’s motion to generate constantly changing views through and between the cut-out shapes of the scenic mural and mobile. Like the cast shadows, these fluctuating views accentuate the viewer’s present position in the gallery while simultaneously referring to the illusion of space in the generic scenic image and the map of a tea garden path in Kyoto.