Plan Your Experience

Jennifer Chilstrom

Title: Lucid

Location: 80 South 8th Street

On display until: September 8, 2017

Inspired by the bioluminescent flora and fauna I experienced (in Bahia de los Angeles, Mexico and Ko Samet, Thailand) I wish to share with viewers an interpretation of that magic. 

The background of each piece represents water. This oceanic and stormy affect is achieved using modern and traditional shibori hand dyeing techniques and natural indigo dye. These hand dyed sheets of silk are the canvas and background of the paintings. Working with luminescent resin and silk pigments the paintings absorb light by day and in the evening quite literally glow, representing the various living lanterns that exist in plant and animal form. 

Bioluminescent technology could begin producing light alternatives for cityscapes in just 5-10 years. I want people to have the opportunity to explore and identify what nature can achieve, the amazing diversity of things it can do like emit light, and imagine it in our own downtown. When we realize how special things are, we begin to protect them and protecting water is vital for all of us. Biomimicry is human curiosity at it's best.

The future of bioluminescent technology is very bright! Companies like Glowee, a 2016 Parisian start-up, plan to use living bacteria found in squid to illuminate shop fronts, public spaces, and installations, with the hope of lighting up whole streets with their microbial lamps. Similarly in medical research, cell tracking using bioluminescent molecules has made identifying the location of cancer cells, infection agents, and immune system response cells easier. Sharing chance encounters with bioluminescence opened up doors of discovery for me and I wish to share that joy with you, my community.

I draw inspiration from the natural world around me and explore my creative voice through direct service to my community. My ambition as a multi-media visual artist is to inform, enrich, connect, and employ the diverse communities I collaborate with and serve. It is important to me that my artwork contain certain elements, though it may not always be apparent: the reuse and recycling of found objects and supplies, the creation/use of handmade pigments and natural dyes. The goal for my art, youth mentoring, and community service is to create safe spaces for living cultures to create and discover their own individual authentic voice and gifts. I explore and utilize many mediums including painting, photography and fiber arts.


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