Cloche (in situ), 2008, 12’ high x 9’ wide double sided photograph on vinyl
Cloche (in situ) is a large photographic sculpture to be installed at the Tree Museum. It is part of an on going project entitled Genius Loci; the genius of the place or disorder of the picturesque. This project began in 2006 with research into futuristic architecture and more specifically that of the large glass conservatories or greenhouses of the 19th & 20th centuries, the first modular architecture of the Industrial Revolution. These romantic structures continue to function as museums, authority, monument and theatre while nature under goes a process of displacement, diminution and transplantation, lodging the glass structures in our collective memories and imaginations as a replacement for Eden. Simultaneous to this research I had begun to collect glass bell jars common in the Victorian era as small miniature greenhouses. The function of these domestic domes was to nurture seedlings or to contain special rare miniature plantings.
While walking in the woods a couple of years ago I began to imagine what if there was a huge glass bell jar at architectural scale hidden amongst the trees. I decided at that moment to site and photograph my real glass domes in the Northern Ontario boreal forest. It was soon clear to me that I wanted the inside of the bell jar to be empty and the reflection of trees on the outside, contrary to the function of the bell jar. Then when the photograph was enlarged to architectural scale, and installed in the forest, Cloche, became a blind, an illusion or a suggestion of an architectural folly. I liked the inversion and the tension between the wild or seemingly disorder of the forest; the reflection of the forest on and through the glass jar; the transformation of the domestic object to architecture; the siting in the forest and the photographic process itself which further suggests trace and apparition. All these layers merge together and explore intrinsic paradox, metaphors and blurs which enhance the experience of this imaginary site or daydream of the garden.
View Essay – Under Glass, On The Wall, In the Wild- Earl Miller