D I O R A M A (s)
I at first had aims to make terrariums serving mostly to re-employ discarded housewares, vessels, and materials into the service of a quiet plant, enriching the room its placed in. I amassed a decent collection of old carafes, cups, and dishes, and embarked upon countless studies with moss, small plants, seedlings, etc. Continued difficulties at this stage proved that the scale was largely unrewarding (except in photographs) and difficult to sustain. The pieces slowly became larger, and the plants more simple.
The line of pieces then diverged in two directions: potted plants and terrariums. The potted plants began to take on the properties I originally envisioned in the terrariums: small scaled, low growing, yet orderly and clean. It was easier to treat these casually, just trying to re-purpose items and match proportion/texture.
The terrariums then became simply about the specimen, the moss, rather than the use of the repurposed vessel. I chose vessels that would offer a lot of negative space, making the moss’ presence stronger. I liked this look, but too often the pieces seemed sterile. To counter this I tried to add scale and direction to what seemed only a setting for something that was absent, (pieces of discarded jewelry, metalwork, found items, ornament, or whatever seemed appropriate in scale). These rarely worked, and were most times a distraction. The pieces seemed arbitrary. Rather than directing notice to the moss, or encouraging closer examination, they were missing the point.
The miniature people however let the piece be a form of diorama. The moss takes on scale, and one’s imagination completes the space and the story, without saying so much that it grows stale.
Ultimately, the space within the vessel will change with light, temperature, moisture levels, etc. Water will bead on the glass, the moss may sprout spores, or shrink when it needs water, etc. That there are residents to the terrarium now provides a connection to these changes and to the space itself. The moss’ aliveness becomes the circumstances of a narrative, the spoken words of a story.