As part of her ongoing series titled Traveling Landscapes, New York-based artist Kathleen Vance constructs entire landscapes inside of old steamer trunks and repurposed luggage. Many of the pieces incorporate real running water, soil, and living plant life to form encapsulated environments, though others are constructed from common model-making materials and resin. The pieces are intended to speak to the fragility of drinking water reservoirs and issues of water rights. She shares in her artist statement:
Materials that are commonly defined as natural and artificial are combined in the creation of these works, isolating aspects that are indicative of the ‘natural’ (while sometimes are considered unnatural). The landscapes created are transformative in their illusion of a nature scene; they are contained in traveling cases to magnify the displacement of a seemingly natural landscape in an unusual framework. These pieces extenuate the desire for ‘untouched’ natural environments, and the claim and proprietorship that are placed on plots of land, which carries over to water rights.
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