janet Pihlblad Please click on images to see enlarged versions


Moss Works:

The Moss Sphere is ten feet in diameter and covered in living moss, The subject of the artwork is wonderment, and an inside-out feeling about the intimacy of home and seemingly faraway places. The inside is something like a globe of the earth, except inverted. All the large land masses are formed in living moss, but the shapes are inside out, as if one were seeing the continents from their undersides: an inside-out world.

This work was a collaboration with students from Roger Williams University, and was installed on the Rhode Island campus spring/summer 2008.

Other People's Windows
Dried moss on wood. Instead of a "view" these windows offer an physical experience of an appealing organic material. The different shapes,or styles of windows suggest the varying attitudes of people toward nature. One's viewpoint is the window through which one sees.

Thoreau’s Window
This piece encourages participation by viewers. A moss-covered window is set into the wall and before it is a table, chair, laptop computer and mini-printer. The computer is open to a journal template and viewers are invited to sit and type their own thoughts and observations, with several 1850 entries of Henry D. Thoreau offered as inspiration. One font exists exclusively on this computer, so all text appears in this font only. It is a facsimile of the archaic, calligraphic handwriting of Thoreau, himself.The font was made using microfilm of his original manuscripts and font-designing software. Viewers are welcomed to either keep their print-outs, or post them as a continuing part of the exhibition.

Mirror/Grotto/Looking Glass
An old frame with a leafy design appears to hang on the wall. Where a picture or mirror might be is, instead, a deep, rounded concave hollow in the wall, lined with moss and small plants. Before this stands a table, upon it, an antique hand-mirror, which has been cast in bronze, but where the mirror would be, the frame has been soldered to a cast bronze flower-pot. The flower-pot is sunk/concealed in the table. A mossy surface with tiny plants appears in place of a reflection.

Nature Study
Fresh forest moss lines large, crevice-like hollows in the gallery wall, making two shapes: one human, one a flower symbol. The material, moss, smells like earth, sharing our physical presence and is, like us, alive. This work is a thought about the distancing properties of an idealized concept, and the gentle suggestion of a fearsome inevitability.

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inside moss sphere Africa & Asia inside moss sphere inside inside moss sphere
Moss Sphere (showing outside and inside)

moss wndow window window thoreau's window  
Other People's Windows

thoreau's window thoreau's window thoreau's window thoreau's window viewer entries
Thoreau's Window

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Nature Study


Janet Pihlblad