“Keeping Time with Changing Seasons” is a kinetic installation of hanging sculptures that I created for the Cornell Botanic Gardens to accompany Rhythms of the Land, an international conference on the use of ecological calendars for climate change adaptation. The images of plants, animals, and people that appear in this installation are drawn from the research of Professor Karim-Aly Kassam and his students, which they conducted in Indigenous and rural communities of the Pamir Mountains and North America.
I folded photographs and drawings from this trove of images into geometric paper forms that communicate the multifaceted interactions of humans with nature. I then suspended these shapes in cloud-like formations in the lobby of the Nevin Welcome Center, where they entered into dialogue with the wood and glass features of the building as well as the lush grounds of the Cornell Botanic Gardens outside.
The three hanging sculptures in the installation consist of multiple elements held in a delicate gravitational balance by their mutual connections. Formed by linking basic building blocks together one at a time using wire armatures, the mobiles react to air currents with gentle motions that are transmitted from one part of the sculpture to another. What emerges from this interdependent structure is an intricate dance that mirrors the complexity of the natural ecosystem encompassing this installation.