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Fertile Ground and New Growth: Dreaming in the Plant Realm

Libby Paloma

Nov 1, 2021 – Dec 31, 2021
In the window gallery

SPACE is pleased to debut a new installation by artist Libby Paloma, created during an October 2021 residency at SPACE, for the window gallery on Congress Street.

Artist Statement

This project began with my personal healing from the fourteen-month process of recovering from Long-COVID. An integral part of my recovery was direct engagement with nature. I took a lot of pleasure getting close to plants and watching them change over these many months. I wondered about plants and their resilience. In looking into plant resilience further, I discovered that the most resilient plants are the native plants to any given area. In investigating native plants where I was living (Hudson Valley, New York), I discovered that many native plants span much of the Northeast due to bird migration. The plants featured in this installation are native plants from the two geographic locations of making (Hudson Valley, NY) and installing (Portland, Maine).

In a way, this project is a love letter to these native plants and to the plant realm for aiding in my recovery. I’d like to thank Pokeweed, Witch Hazel, Yellow Lady’s Slipper Orchids, Dragon’s Mouth Orchids, and Turkey Tail Mushrooms. I was inspired by the infinite wisdom of these marvelous plants.

As Eckhart Tolle has discussed, nature can often feel peaceful and restorative due to dream-like plant energy that exists amongst and between plants. This energy is similar to the human’s consciousness between wakefulness and dreaming, a space when the brain is far and away more peaceful. To connect to this world and energy more thoroughly, I created this world, transforming these materials and scale where, hopefully, the brain can rest and dream.

About the Artist

Libby Paloma is an interdisciplinary artist originally from San Francisco, California, currently based in New York. Paloma’s work has been exhibited at El Museo Del Barrio in New York, NY, the Wassaic Project, SOMArts in San Francisco, and the Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, where she received the 2019 Hudson Valley Artist Purchase Award. Paloma has also recently been an Artist-in-Residence at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, the Wassaic Project, in Wassaic, NY and SPACE Gallery, Portland, ME. To see additional works by Paloma visit the exhibitions Fertile Ground and New Growth: Dreaming in the Plant Realm at SPACE Gallery, Portland, ME opening November 2-December 11, 2021 as well as There Can Be No Instructions at The Knockdown Center, Queens, NY in 2022.

Cover: Libby Paloma, Fertile Ground and New Growth: Dreaming in the Plant Realm, 2021, an installation in the SPACE Congress Street window gallery. Photo by Carolyn Wachnicki.

Are you a Maine artist looking to fund a project? Apply to our American Rescue Plan Project grant program today. Deadline: June 26th at 11:59 PM.