BY TAMMY SCILEPPI
Locals have noticed a bunch of colorful giant blossoms popping up in Forest Park.
If you’re wondering what these mystery fleurs look like, you should check out “Small, Medium, Large” – a strangely beautiful nature-themed exhibit on display through Aug. 14, that has sprouted in Oak Ridge, in the heart of the popular park (located at 1 Forest Pkwy., Woodhaven) – courtesy of Brooklyn artist Daniele Frazier, who says her work explores the relationship between scale and time, as well as possibility and the suspension of disbelief.
The exhibition showcases multi-media scale models (including one made of cast bronze), works on paper, oil paintings, sculptures relating to her public artworks “The Giant Flowers” and “Ecology Sampler” installed in Highland Park over the last three years, and even the fabric flag itself that was hanging in the park.
“The relationship between scale and time has to do with the sequence of events, in this case, in the creation of public artwork,” Frazier said. “I always made models and sketches before the actual piece, in order to work out ideas and designs. However, the models in the show were created after-the-fact, which is somewhat unusual. So, I had to go back in time and revisit the large-scale works and create miniatures of them as a means of creating a record of their existence.”
And her sculpture “Reservoir,” is on display as well. According to Frazier, the model is currently a suggestion, illustrating her personal vision for a large work intended for the center of the Ridgewood Reservoir in Upper Highland Park.
“I would love to see it come to fruition, and the response so far has been positive,” she said. “The model of the reservoir piece can also function as a birdbath, and so I would love to find a home for the Reservoir model/birdbath itself.”
The artist added: “The suspension of disbelief comes into play especially with the Reservoir model/sculpture. The fact that I put a tiny swan in the piece as an indicator of scale (to tell you the bronze flowers are ‘giant’) asks the viewer to use their imagination and accept the fantasy that I am creating.”
Location, location. Frazier’s creations are “blooming” in what seems like a perfect spot to showcase her talent.
“Oak Ridge is an absolutely stunning historic building. My exhibition was sponsored by The Forest Park Trust, which is based in Oak Ridge. The building has a museum-like feel to it and it’s the perfect fit for artwork about the surrounding parks,” she explained.
This unique display reflects her true love of nature.
“Being able to spend time in nature is important to me and is an integral part of my creative process. I get many of my ideas while taking long runs through Highland and Forest Park,” Frazier said.
The artist, who has a studio in her Cypress Hills home, has shown public work at Socrates Sculpture Park and Central Park, as well as various galleries throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. She also ran a storefront space in Bushwick for three years called Rear Storefront, that featured work by her peers.
“I have an ongoing project that involves photographing zoos and natural history museums around the world and creating juxtapositions between photographs of same-species, a sort of zoo-to-taxidermy, before-and-after concept,” she noted. “I also have plans to create a visual adaptation of Adolfo Bioy Casares’ novel ‘The Invention of Morel,’ that would take place in and around Highland Park. The plans for that are just percolating now.”
Originally from the Bay Area in California, Frazier moved to NYC almost 17 years ago to attend the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. In addition to making large-scale outdoor artwork she maintains a studio practice where she draws and makes smaller sculptures.
For work, the busy artiste collaborates with fashion and journalism publications on photoshoots and research projects. “Most recently, I photographed a freshwater pearl farm in Tennessee, and also creative-directed an exhibition about the history on contemporary Belgian fashion in Brussels,” she noted.
“I would say my life is eclectic and never dull and I can find something interesting in everything.”
The exhibition will be on view weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on weekends by appointment.
The Forest Park Trust, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1998. The Trust partners with NYC Parks and the community to support, maintain, and program Forest and Highland Parks.