June 10, 2016 – August 13, 2016
Opening Reception – June 11, 4 – 6 pm.
In summer 2016, the Schuylkill Center hosted Bryophilia, a gallery show of artist Marion Wilson’s stunning digital photographs of microscopically enlarged moss species. Wilson prints intricate and lush photographs of tiny sprigs of moss on treated mylar sheets, hundreds of times the normal species size. From afar, these magnificently scaled up prints appear to be alien forms, and invite a closer look to interpret these curious shapes and structures. Layers of mylar prints lend depth and dimension to the images, echoing the layering of moss often encounted on a mossy rock.
Moss – part of the bryophyte phylum – captivates Wilson as the first form of plant life, yet often the most overlooked. Over 22,000 species of moss are known to exist in the world – a highly specialized and place-based species, they are found on every continent and are incredibly intricate and varied when viewed up close. From our human height, we often observe moss as a uniform green carpet over rocks and decaying logs – but in fact that “moss” is in fact many different mosses, tapestried together in wildly varying colors textures, and forms. Renowned bryologist Robin Wall Kimmerer, professor of environmental biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and collaborator of Wilson’s, describes mosses as “coral reefs of the forest.”
Wilson’s digital moss prints celebrate place-based learning, close looking, and integrated interdisciplinary investigation, both ecological and spiritual; scientific and artistic.
Programs: On the Ground: A Conversation on Art, Science, and Engagement (In partnership with the In/Out summer symposium organized by Moore College of Art & Design’s Social & Studio Practices and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program); Great American Backyard Campout moss terrarium making.
Supported in part by the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation.