Reflecting the Forest
Reflecting the Forest was a public art project made for Tryon Creek State Park's Art in the Forest 2007-2008 exhibition.
This installation consists of a series of black convex mirrors framed in cross sections of an old tree trunk. The mirrors were inspired by the Claude Mirror--an optical device used by landscape painters and tourists alike in the 18th century.
Black mirrors helped train the eye by condensing an expansive view and creating unity of value and form. The use of the Claude mirror became less frequent after the invention of photography and man's desire for a more immediate and unfiltered experience with nature. Nonetheless, the mirrors offer a subtle and seductive reflection of the Tryon Creek forest.
from the catalog:
"The history of the Claude mirror reflects one aspect of the long relationship between artists, scientific innovation, and nature. Despite its critics, I believe the optical effect that the mirror produces remains beautiful and seductive. The fixed two dimensional image–a fascinating novelty in the 18th century–has become so commonplace that many of us only experience the natural world through photographs, television, and film. As artists of the past observed the subtle changes in light and shadow and tried to capture a sense of repose in their renderings of the landscape–I encourage you to take a moment and study the reflection of the Tryon Creek forest. You may even be able to see someone you know."