In the framework of the basic course Art in the Neighborhood artist Gala Bell did a public intervention at Weißer See (White Lake) in Weißensee district, Berlin.
Reverse Metamorphosis, October 2015
Maximilian Sunflower, tree branches, silk, spray paint, hair gel, linseed oil, oil paint, thread.
“Reverse Metamorphosis is a collection of artworks that hang on the bank of the lake in Weissensee. Wild flowers and tree branches from an abandoned field / junkyard in An der Industriebahn were taken to the studio. They became painting objects, laid down on the canvas and sprayed, dipped in paint, assembled to form sculpture. Of course because they are organic, they began to change shape, loose water, became flaccid and decay in the bucket swamp they were sitting in. Acrylic however masked them from the air and slowed down the progress of this wilting, in which case they became brittle and dry. They were painted in a rubber like coating of black; the radiant yellow of the Maximilian Sunflower was squandered. But against the light, their silhouette exposed the beautiful lines of their bodies.
The plants were then wrapped in a thin latex like skin, a silk that was treated with oils, gels, and paint that had become translucent from the treatments. Parts of the silk were sewn together to create a cocoon. Like a reverse butterfly, the plant had already lived its moment of growth and blossoming, and now it is a fossil, an infertile, a remnant of the summer, a memory for the cold winter months. Once the leaves fall, the cocoons will colour the cold setting. It symbolically preserves nature, prolongs its endurance, but paradoxically is also an example of neglect and the endangerment of the natural world.
Works by astrologers such as Martin Rees and reporter Elizabeth Kolbert have inspired this work. The state of the environment is something that is greatly called into question, as the man made expands, nature more and more becomes this ‘Other’, almost a separate being to ourselves. Man is increasingly less natural. Astrologers, such as Rees, predict a future land of machines. Technology will be the one to out live our race and witness the dying of the sun. Perhaps by that point the only remnants of nature will be preserved in pixels.” (Gala Bell)