MadArt Studio proudly presents Reforestation of the Imagination by Seattle-based artist Ginny Ruffner, in collaboration with digital artist Grant Kirkpatrick. This exhibition will inhabit MadArt Studio from January 2 through March 24, 2018, with an Opening Reception and Artist Talk on Sunday, January 2, 1 - 4pm.
Showcasing this collaboration, Reforestation of the Imagination combines traditional glass and bronze sculpture with augmented reality. Ruffner utilizes technology to overlay digital information onto sculptural objects, portraying two disparate worlds, one that is invisible to the human eye. This process expands the boundaries of Ruffner’s renowned practice in glass sculpture, as she finds new and creative ways of remaining relevant as a formative artist of the region. Working with Kirkpatrick to develop the facilities for augmented reality, this collaborative effort also challenges traditional notions of sculpture to encompass the intangible, ephemeral object.
The installation engages viewers’ curiosity as they navigate the space using handheld devices, exposing an otherwise invisible world of holographic imagery. Created from Ruffner’s drawings, an augmented reality emerges from a forest seemingly marked by devastation. The forest, made up of Ruffner’s painted and colorless glass stumps, scattered logs, overhead limbs, and suspended leaves, is experiencing a cycle of regeneration, which is materialized through visitors’ smartphones. This imaginary and potential beauty revealed through augmented reality is the forest reimagining itself.
How Ruffner responded to extreme physical and emotional duress is as telling about her internal drive and strength of character as her most impressive artwork. At a crescendo in her career, in 1991 an auto accident nearly took the artist’s life. But in cheating death, Ruffner was rewarded with an intensified and broader creative life, resulting in everything from groundbreaking works in flameworked glass, to pop-up books, large-scale sculpture, and mind-blowing public art.