About the Pieces:
Beth has been inspired by biology for years, and is especially inspired by a greater trend to not only get outside but also get the outside inside. In the collection, Florae, she combines silicone and dried flowers to create light fixtures in which light seems to emanate from a biological source. Incorporating one of her pieces into a room is akin to installing a plant, but without the need for maintenance and with extra illumination. A typical plant requires watering and a careful eye for leaking, but these dried pieces are good to go.
Lighting is in general associated with man-made objects. Words often associated with ‘lighting’ are ‘man-made’, ‘industrial’, ‘metal’, ‘plastic’, and ‘electricity’. Considering that the very first concept of light was that of the sun, a natural source, it is amazing that people have for so long surrounded themselves by light in such a synthetic way. The florae collection was designed to merge the synthetic and natural in a way that will calm a room: Beth designed the pieces so that the light softens as it travels the length of the flowers’ natural fractal structure.
To create Florae, Beth first collected and dried flowers. The florae collection includes lavender, gypsophila, ammobium, gladiolus, snapdragons, strawflowers, miscanthus, and sedum. She then poured two-part, pre-cured silicone in a terra cotta planter, inserted a cavity negative, and then embedded the flowers into the silicone as if arranging a vase. The cured result resembles an inverted bouquet of flowers.
About the Collection:
Merriam-Webster defines ‘composite’ as “made of different parts or elements”. Here, neo-composites arise from the combination of grown biological materials and synthetic materials. Typical composites are comprised of two or more synthetic materials. This collection is an exploration in incorporating biological materials into our daily material worlds. It also illustrates how blurred the lines between natural and synthetic have become. What constitutes a natural material? With enough distillation all materials were derived from the biological world that we inhabit. We will continue to blur these lines.