September 4, 2008

By Mike Landry

A spooky capture of Jenine Marsh's installation, "Topiarium."

Like The Beatle’s infamous student in “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” Jenine Marsh is quizzical and studied ‘pataphysical science at home. The Calgary artist was drawn to the supposing science of imaginary solutions, because it epitomizes the artistic nature of science.

Marsh has been exploring this idea with a series which focuses on conservatory gardens. Her latest project, Topiarium is a large half dome of mylar and clear plastic on a structure of topiary petunia wire. Lit from within, the viewer can see giant tree-like pointy structures and with architectural conservatory drawings. The floor is also made of reflective vinyl and Plexiglas mirror—making the dome into a sphere.

“[Conservatories] are these cool spaces where what’s natural and artificial are completely overlapped, and what normally defines natural and artificial is ignored or redefined,” says Marsh. “All it is, is a personal idea. It has nothing to do with truth or nature. It’s about display in nature.”


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