Dense Ecosystems with Flowing Water Sources Packed in Vintage Luggage by Kathleen Vance

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New York City-based artist Kathleen Vance creates lush landscapes brimming with green mosses, foliage, and rocky surfaces all stored in an unusual carrier: vintage suitcases. Vance’s ongoing Traveling Landscapes series connects travel and natural resources, inclining her to incorporate active water components into many of her miniature ecosystems. The artist tells Colossal she hopes to convey that “water and our natural open landscapes are our legacy to the future generations and something that must be protected and cherished.”  Her more recent pieces, like “Traveling Landscape, Spelunker,” deviate from her previous work by including caverns replete with hanging stalactites and stalagmites, or icicle-like rock formations, that she sculpts by hand.

Utilizing found vessels, Vance says she wants to “relate to a time when travel was slower and the distances between us and our homelands and foreign landscapes were more difficult to access.” Each portable environment is designed and retrofit for specific steamer trunks and train cases.

The cases act to abstract the idea of travel and romanticize its idyllic qualities. I am always on the look out for cases that have some indication of travel, with notes and markers which give a feeling that they have really been used for used for transportation of someone’s special or personal items.

To keep up with Vance’s environmentally focused projects, follow her on Instagram.

Dense Ecosystems with Flowing Water Sources Packed in Vintage Luggage by Kathleen Vance

“Traveling Landscape, Luce,” vintage train case, resin, artificial foliage, soil, water, water pump, and fluorescent light, 11 x 6.5 x 8 inches

Dense Ecosystems with Flowing Water Sources Packed in Vintage Luggage by Kathleen Vance

“Traveling Landscape, Ornate Silver,” ornate metal and wooden chest, soil, stones, resin, artificial, foliage, and water, 12 x 12 x 17 inches

Dense Ecosystems with Flowing Water Sources Packed in Vintage Luggage by Kathleen Vance

“Traveling Landscape, Golden Interior,” 12.5 x 5 x 8 inches

Dense Ecosystems with Flowing Water Sources Packed in Vintage Luggage by Kathleen Vance

“Traveling Landscape, Spelunker,” found traveling case, hand sculpted stalactites and stalagmites, resin, paint, artificial foliage, and soil, 13 x 9 x 9 inches

Dense Ecosystems with Flowing Water Sources Packed in Vintage Luggage by Kathleen Vance

“Traveling Landscape, Assembly,” antique case, hand sculpted landscape, resin, paint, artificial foliage and trees, and a bulb light

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