GREEN ROOM: The Planter Show Organized By Fort Makers Design Studio
Cultivating a sense of vitality and indoor zen in socially-distant times, The Planter Show, presented by design studio Fort Makers at their downtown New York exhibition space, is a celebration of a love for nature. Featuring works by over 40 designers and artists, the exhibition captures the symbiotic relationship between the static vessel and the unpredictable plant.
Sculpted containers of a variety of media and shapes paired with succulents, ivy, ferns, and palms from Dahing Plants gardening store and nursery fill the gallery, transforming it into an indoor garden. There’s a stoneware planter by Brooklyn-based ceramicist Simone Bodmer-Turner, a series of amorphous purple blobs by Oliver-Selim Boualam and Lukas Marstaller (otherwise known as BNAG), a set of four phallic cactus “companions” as sculptor Trish Tillman refers to them, a vibrant nest of poly-nylon ropes by artist and human rights activist Tamika Rivera, and an illuminated LED-screen planter by architect and furniture designer Harry Nuriev. Each piece, made specifically for the show, demonstrates the human ability to create nondestructive relationships with nature and the healing effects that plants have on our everyday lives.
Fort Makers Co-Founder and Creative Director Nana Spears explains that “the exhibition is grounded in the personification of the vessel and the life form it houses as a single entity.” During the long period of in-home isolation, many people have found a new level of companionship with their domestic surroundings, looking to objects and plants as sources of comfort. While some artists subtly suggest a personification of the vessel, such as Naomi S. Clark’s seemingly crawling terracotta Leg Up, others are much more explicit like Jessi Li’s Thumbs-Up Planter and the series of anthropomorphic face planters by Uno+Ichi. Had to do it to them by Didi Rojas and Boot, Running Shoe, and Clogs by Scott Reeder even illustrate what it might be like for a plant to take a walk in its owner’s shoes.
Other pieces such as Terracotta Cylinder by Paula Grief, Temple 4 by Myagmarsuren Brown, and Vayu by Farrah Sit and Joel Seigle encourage an appreciation for nature at its simplest form. While contemplating the untamed future is a daunting endeavor, these works are reminders that our support systems are more deeply rooted than they may appear.