Nicole Condon-Shih

Crystal Lattice is an ongoing project exploring the physical and metaphorical properties of crystallization. I source materials from local Chinese medicine doctors, most recently discovering one that in, Chinese medicine, is used for expelling toxins in the lungs and, in the U.S., for killing cockroaches, which is then used as the initial crystallizing agent to grow petri-dish “in-motion” sculptures. Rather than employing a strict scientific ratio in contriving the crystallization mixture, artistic experimentation and improvisation with watercolor and ink pigments direct the composition. The work is then left out of my control and naturally grows, at first quite quickly, but then in a slow and suspenseful manner taking over six months to fully mature.

The project outcomes range in scope from scaled photographic documentation and mapped drawings to the still “in-motion” bubbling sculptures. The works can be reminiscent of Song Dynasty landscape paintings and recall an essence of natural phenomena with objects in the foreground and vast space in the background.

Eventually, the crystallization process fully absorbs all of the water and disintegrates into dust particles, illustrating a full life cycle. Through the process of understanding the material in its cultural context, engaging an experimental art-lab process, and discovering its natural growth patterns, Crystal Lattice draws attention to the intersection of art and science, contemplates boundaries of the organic and inorganic, and raises questions of growth and space.

Nicole Condon_01---1.jpg

Title: Arctic Water
Medium: Giclée on archival Hahnemühle paper
Size: 100 x 100cm
Date: 2015

 

Nicole Condon_02----2.jpg

Title: The Pink Planet
Medium: Giclée on archival Hahnemühle paper
Size: 100 x 100cm
Date: 2015

 

Nicole Condon_04---4.jpg

Title: Bamboo Garden – North
Medium: Giclée on archival Hahnemühle paper
Size: 100 x 100cm
Date: 2015

 

Nicole Condon_08----8.jpg

Title: Crystal Lattice
Medium: Giclée on archival Hahnemühle paper
Size: 100 x 100cm
Date: 2015