Suzanne Lovell Inc

Design

An eruption of floorboards

May 23, 2020

“Untitled”, 2019 at John Michael Kohler Arts Center . This is indeed an explosion from the ground.
Image courtesy of: SVBF

Bothwell Fels is a Brooklyn-based artist that works in site-responsive sculptural installations that are often embedded into pre-existing architectural contexts. She transforms regular, mundane architectural features into sites that make the viewer question the perception of space. Bothwell Fels seamlessly and effectively showcases the significant role that perception plays for each of us.

“Beauty Surplus”, 2016-17, Catinca Tabacru Gallery.
Image courtesy of: SVBF

Recently, Bothwell Fels presented a selection of her work as part of two different projects at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery in New York City and John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The mountain-like installations that emerge from the ground are like nothing anyone has seen before… purely imaginative and creative, and capable of shifting expectations to see something extraordinary rather than mundane.

The original flooring is beneath the installation, Bothwell Fels and her assistants laid “Beauty Surplus” on top of it.
Image courtesy of: Lora Keller

Bothwell Fels originally trained as a social psychologist and so she can understand, better than most, how environments can shift perceptions of being. Specifically with her floorboard installations, Bothwell Fels shows her fascination with ruptures and growths. By using different pigmented wood, she creates swelling volumes that emerge from the ground.

Specifically it is the interactions of site-specific architecture and interdependent ecosystems that might allow Bothwell Fels to answer the questions of: Where is the border between the physical world and our imagined version of it, and how can one become the other? What becomes possible when they do?

A view of the installation through the colored walls at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.
Image courtesy of: John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Even though she is based in Brooklyn, Bothwell Fels says that her studio is wherever she is installing in. She says that her studio has “been” a convent, a snowmobile warehouse, and a secret society hall.

About her process, Bothwell Fels says, she develops a plan that is vague and not too technical. From there, she works toward how this plan speaks to her. Sometimes she will make blueprints and other times she makes 3D models. Once that stage is complete, Bothwell Fels plays with the models to see what emotions they invoke within a specific space.

Bothwell Fels with “You Are Here/Here You Are”, 2013.
Image courtesy of: Cinders Gallery

Bothwell Fels’ triangle installation was a previous work where she engaged the rules of geometry which explain that larger wholes are made from smaller, repeating components. The installation was made up from discarded housing materials, mainly lath wood found behind old plaster walls. The end result was outgrowths in nooks and crannies of existing architecture. We can’t wait to see what Bothwell Fels will think of next… we love to challenge our imaginative and creative energy!

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