New Inflatable Works

The making of Rotifers

I proposed the rotifer installation for the Amsterdam Light festival for their Illuminade walking route with the theme of Biomimicry.

img_2108Model of Rotifers project.

rotifers222Inspirational rotifer illustration.

img_0020Scale drawing on Acadamy building.


img_0704Testing lights in the studio.

synchaeta-hyperborea-smirnov-1932Inspirational illustration

img_1271Working in the studio in Amsterdam to attach the forms together and add lights.

Creatures circle my sewing machine.

The Story of the Amsterdam Rotifers.


The rotifer is a tiny animal that lives in small bodies of water.  It has the bizarre and amazing ability to survive attacks from preditory fungus by drying up and floating away on the wind.  When it does this it can also shatter it’s own DNA and pick up the DNA from the world around it. A trio of rotifers lays on the ground, collapsed.  Suddenly their lights flash wildly and then they fall dark.  The viewer experiences vulnerability and collapse with the creature.  But from their darkness emerges a new series of rotifers.


These rotifers form a chain, flying up the building.  As they fly they morph and change with their surroundings, excaping into the night.


Janine Benyus, founder of the Biomimicry Institute defines biomimicry as the “emulation of life’s genius”  The rotifer literally incorporates the genes of their surroundings into their DNA sequence.


There is a clear link between this work and real rotifers”, reflects Amsterdam Light Festival juror Lydia Fraaije on the work and its relation to this year’s theme: biomimicry. “They move just like real rotifers and by doing so, they manifest their cycle. Cycles also present  in nature. It’s good that we’re made aware of the fact that what we do is not linear, but rather part of a larger system, which sometimes seems to be based on arbitrariness.”

That rotifers spread their DNA is amazing. They also gather DNA from their surroundings. To me, the fact that they use DNA as an information carrier a beautiful analogy! Especially in a contemporary society like ours, where access to information is more ubiquitous than ever. Also, the idea that the piece focuses on a microscopic level and makes us experience even more nature than what we already see is noteworthy.” said Lydia.

img_3757View of rotifers from across the canal.

rotiferdrawingThe very first rotifer drawing I made.


in the studio before moving to Amsterdam.

My collapsed rotifer photo shoot.






All work created for the Amsterdam Light Festival 2016 with the theme of Biomimicry.

Francois the duck

a fire shooting inflatable ducky that floats on a cloud.


This ducky started his life as a part of a series of inflatables I made for the Museum of Outdoor Arts and Lonnie Hanzon to display in our holiday light show at Hudson Gardens.

Now he has a new life thanks to my friend Benigno Lopez.  Benigno refitted the duck atop a golf cart, sewed him a cloud, and gave him fire spitting super powers.


Benigno was inspired by the journey of the friendly floatees.  In 1992 a shipping container with 28,000 plastic bath toys was lost at sea.  These little ducks made their way all around the world, showing up in Hawaii, Alaska, South America, and Scotland(to name a few).


 2,000 Duckies still circulate in the currents of the North Pacific Gyre — a vortex of currents between Japan, southeast Alaska, Kodiak and the Aleutian Islands.

The North Pacific Gyre is also home to Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, a massive floating garbage dump full of plastic waste. The duckies water journey helps raise awareness about our plastic waste problems.  Now Francois continues the duckies journey on land.


Becoming More than One

an extension of the works Being More than One and Gentle Infestation.


Displayed in the summer of 2016 as part of AWOL Art without Limits, a program of the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art (GOCA).




Inflatable Vines

Glowing African vines growing off cliff edges.


Inspired by Red Jade




And inspired by Ceropegia armandii.




Inflatable Vines produced for Hanzon Studios and the Houston Zoo for their annual Zoolights exhibition.



Distended Defense

Distended Defense

A Deimatic behaviour

Where predators are initially startled but learn to eat the displaying prey, the display is classed as deimatic, and the prey is bluffing.





Artist in a false protective shell.

Deimatic behaviour in animals means any pattern of threatening or startling behaviour, such as suddenly displaying conspicuous eyespots, so as to scare off or momentarily distract a predator, thus giving the prey animal an opportunity to escape.


13483280_1295714633787022_8544607183893277893_oPhoto by Art by BAMF(Robin Schneider)                                                                                        Modeled by Kendra Dae Shock at GOCA during the event Brilliant.

13528433_1295714640453688_4129092497423292560_oPhoto by Art by BAMF(Robin Schneider)                                                                                        Modeled by Kendra Dae Shock at GOCA during the event Brilliant.

Rotifers invade the Children’s Museum

Rotifers are appearing in all shapes and sizes in my studio at the Children’s museum.


My inflatable rotifer in the studio at the Children’s Museum

The first rotifers I create at the children’s museum are based on my sketches inspired by the tiny creatures.  As I work in the studio in the children’s museum I collect children’s interpretations of the microscopic rotifer.


Children’s drawings of rotifers and fabric collage.








Children’s drawings


As time passes the children’s drawings begin to influence and change my designs of the inflatable rotifers I sew.  Just as in nature the rotifer is influences by the DNA of it’s surrounding, in the studio the rotifer is influenced by the children it interacts with.


The first inflatable rotifer.



My rotifer drawing




Child’s rotifer drawing



My inflatable based on child’s drawing


The final resting place for the rotifers is flying up into the air near the climber.  As the children climb up to the top of the climber they will share a space with the flying rotifers


My concept for climber/rotifer installation.

The Story of the Rotifer

The Rotifer

Rotifers are fascinating  and whimsical creatures, evolutionary mysteries that survive through endurance and adaptations. 1015c131e8026134304acbd67ab9794e

When the rotifer is attacked by predatory fungus it dries up and is carried away in the wind to a new safe environment.  While it is dehydrated the fungus cannot survive.


Rotifer overcome by fungus

When the rotifer dries up it shatters it’s DNA allowing it to pick up DNA from it’s surroundings.

rotifer drawings

My drawing of flying rotifers



Ernst Haeckel’s rotifers

rotifercutout4 copy

My rotifer.

These amazing creatures are the inspiration for my new body of inflatable work.  One installation will be permanently displayed in the Children’s Museum, and the other will be displayed in a festival in Europe.


reversal or cancellation of action or state
something that is done or preformed; act.

Displayed in Berlin in February 2015 as part of the Doubles Project,

a collaboration between GlogauAIR studios and the Institut für Alles Mögliche.

Gentle Infestation (Łagodna Inwazja)

Gentle Infestaion.

Łagodna Inwazja

An inflatable and porcelain installation presented in the Center for Artistic Activities in Ustka Poland, as part of Nicole’s art residency with the Baltic Art Gallery.


In Nicole Banowetz’s installation for the Center for Creative Activities in Ustka Nicole presents forms based on microscopic sea creatures, radiolaria. In a large inflated scale these forms feel surreal, almost alien and even frightening.  They are alive, and pulsing with air.  On the night of the opening they feel strong, showing only hints of their weakness.  Slowly the large robust forms are infested with delicate porcelain pieces.



These fragile, beautiful and slightly disgusting forms begin inhabiting and weakening the forms in the days following the opening.



The artist will be present daily in the gallery the week following the opening building up the parasitic porcelain installation within and around the inflatable work.   She welcomes visitors to come and watch the process.