Marie Elena Grandio on creating her first 3D installation, at Tasmai.
SWISS photographer Marie Elena Grandio strongly believes in something that caught her fancy as a child: that in the forests of the world, there is a tree for everyone; you just have to go and find it. The artiste who loves photographing leaves and trees in the classical black-and-white style, used her art residency at Tasmai gallery to create large-scale three dimensional installations, including her dream tree. Although the exhibition, Hanging Forest, ended yesterday, her works will be showcased at the gallery for a week, and she is available for a meeting via prior appointment.
A stripped branch, run through with golden thread and bearing diaphanous leaves, mounted on the wall, is the artistic representation of the golden tree of her dreams. The exhibition features a number of branches fashioned in interesting shapes, suspended from the ceiling. “I like to take objects we pass every day and transform them into something that people stop to look at,” she says, pointing to silk paper-wrapped branches with painted mushrooms.
The arboreal ambience gives a strong conservation message. There is a ghostly-looking tree with strips of blue plastic for leaves, inspired by a friend’s anecdote about chancing upon a tree in the desert to only find its branches throttled with plastic bags. Grandio’s snapshots of woods, be it in Japan or Switzerland, capture the mysticism, meditative silence and timelessness of nature. A photograph of a tree with its branches forming a protective canopy is titled Cathedrale for the shrine-like image it evokes.
The show also features a series of striking photograms of leaves (images produced without a camera, by bringing objects in contact with light-sensitive paper and using photo developing techniques) as a tribute to Anna Atkins, recognised as the world’s first woman photographer.
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— Olympia Shilpa Gerald