Full Bloom: Artwork by Ann Tarantino

March 21–May 1, 2014
Works on skylights will be on view April 19–September 21
Artist’s reception: Friday, March 21, 3:30–5:30 p.m.

Taking inspiration from flowers and vegetables grown by BBG’s youngest gardeners since 1914, Ann Tarantino uses carrots, beets, radishes, and sunflowers as a point of departure for her intricate cut paper works celebrating the centennial of BBG’s Children’s Garden.

The artist begins by hand-drawing images of plant forms, roots, and cellular structures, which are then digitally transformed by a laser cutter. Light streams through the cut images, lending a stained-glass effect to the skylights, windows, and walls of the gallery. As the light changes throughout the day, intricate shadows play across the space, creating a spatial and sensory experience that speaks to history, memory, growth, and regeneration.

I make drawings on paper and on the wall that reference lonely figures in unknown landscapes, underwater creatures, the roots of plants, neural networks, and maps of cities real and invented. My methods include pouring and dropping ink onto a surface or blowing it through a straw to create intricate patterns, using an air compressor to propel paint across a surface, incising paper with delicate imagery using a laser cutter, and drawing repeated concentric circles reminiscent of ripples on water, growth rings on trees, or early cartographic drawings of an imagined cosmos.

I reference different kinds of systems in my work, from the delicate patterning of nervous tissue revealed through Golgi’s method of staining brain cells to the intricate web of parasitic and symbiotic relationships required to maintain healthy ecosystems to the labyrinthine streets of ancient cities.

Having grown up as a serious competitive swimmer, training and racing from a young age through early adulthood, I return continually to the experience of weightlessness while moving through the water. I am interested in the experiences of the body as it moves through space, meeting and evaluating stimuli both internal and external. Inspired by source material ranging from botanical illustration to contemporary information-visualization strategies such as geo-tagging, musical scores, knitting patterns, and cracks in the sidewalk, my work suggests infinite replication and growth, exploring what it looks and feels like to be alive.

More Light
Ann Tarantino, More Light, 2014. Laser-cut paper on light box.

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