Lauren Fensterstock
Claude Glass (Cube 1 and 2)Claude Glass (Cube2) detailClaude Glass (Cube 1) detailBlack Parlor ShadeMap (Hidden Spaces)Map (Dark Places)Parlor ShadeParlor Shade (detail)Gray no. 1Grey no. 2Black Mirror (detail)Black MirrorPuddle (detail)An Arrangement Of HydrangeasAn Arrangement of HydrangeasAn Arrangement of Hydrangeas (detail)A Collection of Various Botanical FormsA Collection of Various Botanical Forms (detail)A Collection of Various Botanical Forms (detail)Lauren Fensterstock: Of Groves, Labyrinths, Dedals, Cabinets, Cradles, Close-walks, Galleries, Pavillions, Portico's, Lanterns, and other Relievo's: of Topiary and Hortulan Architecture
Garden PileA Third Nature no 1A Third Nature no 7A Third Nature no 6A Third Nature no 5Looking Glass
The Third Nature series was inspired by my fascination with an obscure tool called a Claude Glass. Allegedly developed by renowned painter Claude Lorain, this black convex mirror was used by artists to reflect landscapes. The dark color and curved surface of the glass reduced unnecessary detail and squeezed a complex view into a neat composition. The Claude Glass caught on just as the British were reshaping their landscape into the Picturesque style. Tourists strolling through the countryside in search of picture perfect views would use these mirrors to capture the image of nature as a momentary work of art. Here, landscape is manipulated to look like a painting; the earth becoming an expression of man’s view of nature rather than man’s true experience of nature. History, decay, and disorder are all potent tricks of the picturesque gardener, giving way to a knowingly melodramatic visual array. It is telling that we call these views scenery. Like a stage set, the picturesque garden was created as a site for the dramatic display of human experience.