An Evening with Tristin Lowe

Sunnie and I had a fun night tonight meeting Tristin Lowe, the newest artist to install his work in MOCA’s Project Atrium. Tonight was the Member’s Opening and we were really pleased with what we saw. Philadelphia based Tristin brought four pieces to create this installation. Three of the pieces have been shown before, but never together and one of the pieces was created new for the Atrium. All four of the pieces reflect Tristin’s interest in science and space.

© Ed Malesky 2012 –Tristin Lowe at MOCA

The largest piece is Lunacy, a huge moon, replete with craters, made of industrial felt over an inflatable core.

© MOCA 2012 – Lunacy

He hand teased each of the craters from the wool felt by hand, starting as flat panels and then sewing them together into a perfect sphere. Lunacy must be at least 12 ft. in diameter, so there are thousands of craters. His effort for this task was measured in months.

The other three pieces were made of neon. You can see Visither I in the background above. It lights the backside of the moon with a blue light. Tristin’s interest in neon came from his uncle., who works with commercial neon. However, starting in with fabricating neon is not a decision taken lightly, especially when you have this concept of having the normally 2D neon adapt to sculptural 3D forms. Kids and distance from his uncle put off the project for some time, but finally he was able to start work with his uncle and created his initial pieces. Since then, he is working with someone locally that works on the mechanical components after he has created the glass form.

© Ed Malesky 2012 – Visither I

A closer view shows Visither I to be a series of nearly identical components.

The two additional pieces in the installation are comets, named Grace and Nature. These were my favorite pieces and just blew me away. What really made them special is MOCA’s Atrium space itself. The pieces are mounted high above Lunacy, but with the three levels that over the Atrium, you can see the comets eye to eye, so to speak.

© Ed Malesky 2012 –Grace and Nature over Lunacy

The views changed on every level and apparently this is what happened when Tristin and the MOCA staff began the installation this week. Initially the comets were going to be headed toward the back of the space, but as the installation progressed, changes were made until in the end the comets appear to be coming at the viewers, especially when on the third level.

© Ed Malesky 2012 –Here comes the comet

Walking around allowed me to capture some other really different arrangements as well and the multiplication effect from the reflections in the glass balustrades on the stairways.

© Ed Malesky 2012 –Comet streaking by

© Ed Malesky 2012 – Follow the Leader

© Ed Malesky 2012 – Nature and Grace

Tristin said there was a pretty steep learning curve with developing three dimensional neon, but I for one, definitely think the effort was worth it.

I really have enjoyed the Atrium Project works that have gone into MOCA and it will definitely keep me coming back. You should take at trip to MOCA and check it out for yourself.

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