"The Hills Are Alive"
An interactive and performance sculpture, The Hills Are Alive, is a set of six foam triangles that Swistel repeatedly dyes during each performance. A study in soft sculpture, this piece is an experience of material.
A sculpture made up of cheap stacking storage bins from the Container store that have been filled with dirt and growing grass instead of objects. It includes ten containers and stands over 7 feet tall, which is an unrealistic proportion for typical storage containers. This earthwork protests commercialization and the over use of plastic in our society. The white plastic aesthetic of the containers and the organizing of dirt feels clean and comfortable in an artificial function. The piece reflects ideal consumer organization, kitschy interior design practices and the unnatural curation of nature in apartment plants.
This piece naturally embodies elements of our economy. It’s design only allows for it to be watered a few layers at a time. The trickling down of the water symbolizes the top two percent. It is a trendy vertical garden without any function, because grass without ground is functionless.
The piece includes a performance where I am a version of myself that is basic. A woman “gardening” and trimming the grass with kitchen scissors, while playing a cliche Vivaldi soundtrack to please the growth of her plants. Wearing a sleek Calvin Klein, fitted dress, she pushes the notion of cleanliness and charm. Her phone rings. She answers, and begins to speak to a friend about her actions and purpose. She is enthralled by her vertical garden, tending and watering it as if the grass had an important purpose.
The anti-function of the piece makes it a humorous and entertaining spin on consumerism and sustainability. The work releases oxygen, but is not sustainable, which is less environmentally inspiring and more thought provoking. It’s light hearted nature and humor helps the viewer to indulge in it’s message.
Swistel's, Plant Hotel, is an architectural structure made from clear acrylic plastic. The sculpture contains a living vine plant, which continues to grow around the acrylic. This piece explores the growing relationship between synthetic materials and nature. Plants often grow through man-made structures, while humans transform plants within their environments.
"Slice of Ice"
Made from plaster and resin, Slice of Ice, emulates the shape of a large cruise ship, but looks like a glacier. The added stainless steel bath tub drain reveals the idea of the glaciers melting away. This piece reminds the viewer of the unsustainable environment we live in.