Kathleen Vance is a New York-based environmental artist who creates fascinating art pieces that connect people to nature questions and aspects. In her ongoing series titled Traveling Landscapes, Vance inserts ecosystems in miniature — which includes soil, live plants, and water bodies — into vintage suitcases. Her works “explore the variance between experiences of an authentic natural encounter vs. an inauthentic encounter”.
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.Kathleen Vance