Natural Discourse: Light & Image - The Arboretum
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Saturday, October 18; 9:00AM - 5:00PM

Natural Discourse: Light & Image

About This Event

Handgartner chloroplast imageNatural Discourse: Light & Image is presented by the Garden Conservancy and the Arboretum. It is part of “Natural Discourse: Artists, Architects, Scientists & Poets in the Garden,” an ongoing series of symposia, publications, and site-specific art installations that explore the connections between art, architecture, and science within the framework of the botanical garden. In the upcoming symposium Roger Handgarter, Ph.D., Chancellor’s Professor of Biology at Indiana University, sheds light on the process of photosynthesis, Jenny Brown recounts her work with the renown Blaschka Collection of glass flowers at Harvard, the artist Christian Thornton talks about glass-blowing, energy harvesting and agaves, Marion Brenner addresses the subject of light and photography and John Carpenter will amaze us with his interactive digital works based on natural systems.

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Marion Brenner’s photographs of landscape design have appeared in numerous magazines, including Gardens Illustrated, House & Garden, T, The New York Times Design Magazine, Landscape Architecture, Sunset and Garden Design. Books featuring her work include Andrea Cochran: Landscapes, Olin Placemaking, and Landprints, and the Landscape Design of Bernard Trainor. Books of her photographs include New Garden Design and Living Land, and the Gardens of Blasen Landscape Architecture. She has won an ASLA Graphics Award and received a grant from the Graham Foundation to photograph eighteenth century Jardins Anglais in France. Currently, she is working on a book on Parisian gardens to be published next fall.

Jenny Brown is the Collection Manager of the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants at Harvard University, better known as the Glass Flowers. She earned a master’s degree in library and information science from Pratt Institute and a BFA in interrelated media from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Jenny has done cataloging, archiving, and collection management work for the estate of abstract painter Doug Ohlson (NYC) and in the studio of glass artist Toots Zynsky (Providence, RI) where she also worked as a studio assistant.

John Carpenter is an interactive digital artist and designer whose work explores qualitative spaces in art and design. Based in Los Angeles, he works for Oblong Industries as a g-speak engineer and is a visiting professor in the Multimedia Arts Department at Loyola Marymount University. John earned his MFA from the department of Design/Media Arts at UCLA and has recently exhibited work at the 84th Annual Academy Awards, ACME Los Angeles and Young Projects. Prior to joining Oblong, John worked at Morphosis Architects and was an interactive designer at California Institute of Technology’s Brain and Biological Imaging Center with Scott Fraser, Russ Jacobs, and David Kremers.

Roger Handgarter, Ph.D., Chancellor’s Professor of Biology at Indiana University, conducts research on the physiological and molecular mechanisms by which plants sense and respond to environmental stimuli. He has published more than 75 research articles, served on the editorial boards of several research journals, was elected president of the American society of Plant Biologists, and is an AAAS Fellow.

Christian Thornton is an American glass artist and co-founder of Studio Xaquixe in Oaxaca, Mexico. After studying in Washington State, he worked in New York City for 10 years in glass design and conservation. In 2000, he began working with recycled and alternative energy sources, first in St. John USVI and then in Oaxaca, Mexico where he designed and built Studio Xaquixe. The Studio is built as a sustainable glass art center with formulation of waste glass, recuperation of heat, application of alternative energies, and an innovative business model that adheres to the principles of social and environmental responsibility. In 2013, Christian collaborated with artist Bartaku to develop ‘nube de oro’, a project involving agave inflorescence stalks that took place at the Ethnobotanical Garden in Oaxaca.


$110 members
$125 non-members

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