New York based artist, Dana Sherwood negotiates the tenuous balance between nature and artifice to interrogate the semiotics of desire and melancholia inherent in commodity culture defined by market trends and values. The work examines the notion of abundance through a visual representation of excess and decadence.

Recent projects employ the forms of outdoor structures such as the pavilion and the horse drawn carriage. These familiar parkland fixtures are subverted to house marvelous collections. A tower of ornate, jewel-like confections are crowded together representing the fantastical spires and geometries of the city’s skyline. However, closer inspection reveals the desserts–melting, moldering and essentially destroyed–are more reminiscent of a society in decline.

Based on her research of the landscape and history of Governors Island she plans to construct a series of ecological and architectural replicas, not unlike stage design maquettes, that she will use as sets for a historical drama in stop-action animation. Sherwood intends to recreate the island’s features in a hyper real fashion that is always shifting just as the story is ever evolving. She would like to use her time in residency to experiment with materials that will appear to be both natural and confectionary, but are neither. Sherwood’s desire is to realize a world that can be real and imaginary at the same time.


Image credit: courtesy of the artist