New Inflatable Works

Tag: sculpture

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.


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.



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

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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.

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.









Heavy Petting Gallery at the Kreuzberg Pavilion

Heavy Petting Gallery:


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The sculpture surrenders to the viewers embrace allowing them to sink slightly into the form.  All at once the sculpture collapses and supports like an inviting yet unsettling pillow.


Up to now art history can only scarcely read the influence of touched artistic work. Traditionally the visitors of an exhibition are obliged to restrain themselves respectfully from the artworks in order to recognize themselves, in a diligent visually refined way, as a plain observer of the art. On one hand as spectator one may be touched by the impression of a picture, on the other hand the artwork must be conserved and shielded from any possible touch. The spaces administering this state are bourgeois. Art you can touch is being declared a museum-pedagogical work for those who are still to be taught the right way of seeing.

The Heavy Petting Gallery instead is a place where the direct physical contact with the artistic work not only takes place but shall be actively encouraged.

Thereby the Heavy Petting Gallery is acting neither didactic nor charitable. It does not declare the negligence of visibility a distress that shall be relieved but, as a project space, campaigns for new forms of artistic work and their emancipation.

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 Text and images courtesy of the Kreuzberg Pavilion and Heavy Petting Gallery.

Embrace exhibited at the Kreuzberg Pavilion

Naunynstrasse 53
10999 Berlin

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GlogauAIR Open Studios: Radiolaria

GlogauAIR Resident Artists June 26-27,2015.

Open Studios

On display in Berlin, Germany.

View the catalog here.


Open Studio presentation of Radiolaria sculptures.

Largeradiolarian1 copy


Scanning Electron Micrograph of various Radiolarians. Radiolarians are amoeboid protozoa that produce intricate mineral skeletons


Radiolarians Plate 71

Haeckel – Challenger Radiolarian




My inflatable in progress in the studio.


In the studio before the opening.

Cluster: a showcase in Berlin


An inflatable installation

created for the showcase at Glogauair, Berlin







Inspired by the ice surrounding Kotlin Island in Russia.





Vessel:   A work in progress presented in Kronstadt, Russia.


Inside Vessel.

  When I looked at images of Kronstadt I imagined a form; half ship, and half sea creature.  This form exists somewhere between machine and animal.  The deflated white ghost like skin of this form sits nestled among the ruins of the forts and shipyards, inviting the viewer to enter.  I want the viewer to enter into the skin of the form, physically stepping into the creature.  While inside the creature the outside world disappears and the viewer is enveloped in white.  This void separates them from the landscape and the history of the island.  The space is complexly disorienting, calm, and absent.   The viewer is filled with the awe of such a disorienting space.


Abandoned military fort on Kotlin Island.

«Я шью воздушные скульптуры. Их формы навеяны жизнью животных и растений. Когда  рассматривала  изображения Кронштадта, я представляла себе скульптурную форму, напоминающую одновременно и корабль, и  морское существо. Эта форма существует где-то на грани машины и животного. Спущенный белый призрак, словно  кожа этой  формы, сидит в руинах форта или верфей, приглашая зрителя войти внутрь этой скульптуры. Там, внутри, все окутано в белый цвет, внешний мир исчезает. Эта пустота полностью отделяет зрителя от ландшафта. Человек перестает ориентироваться в пространстве, вокруг царит только тишина».


Inside Vessel.




Kotlin Island

IMG_8964 IMG_8988

Vessel, presented to the city of Kronstadt in a public event after the completion of my one month artist in residency.

This project was made possible by the artist in residency program awarded by the

NCCA The National Centre for Contemporary Arts.

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