Based on observation of the forms and colors found in nature, the fantastical invented flowers in Heptagonals are fabricated with fiber and human-made materials that allude to as well as take part in artificiality – human-created circumstances such as global climate change – while at the same time, the glory and exuberance of the flowers describe what is at stake. Featured in the center of the three primary color flower dioramas (yellow, blue, red) is one that is the bluest of blues – a color which feels somehow false, and as it turns out, there is no true pigment of blue in the natural plant world. Plants don’t have a direct way of making the color blue so they modify a red pigment called anthocyanins to make blue flowers. The mirrors and kaleidoscopic elements of the seven-sided heptagonal boxes create a psychedelic component that references the hypothetical notion of the infinite – which is after all only a hypothesis. The boundless reflections of the somewhat real and somewhat invented flowers refer to the belief that our everlasting reserves of natural and/or artificial sources (forests, flowers, plants, trees, bees, glaciers, minerals, animals, birds, seas, and air) are not a reality. It is indeed a fantasy.
Juliet Karelsen was raised in New York City and has lived in Maine for many years. She is a multi-media artist and curator who received her MFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 2015 and 2016 she took fiber workshops at The Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and they changed the way she made art. She now considers herself a mixed media/fiber artist who sometimes makes 3D sculptural work and who is basically still painting, only now she paints with wool, felt, embroidery floss, crepe paper, wires, cyanotypes, lights, mirrors, etc. Her work has been exhibited in New York City, Boston, Ohio, Maine, New Hampshire, Montana, and abroad in Switzerland, Argentina, and Spain. Recently she has shown in exhibitions at The Center for Maine Contemporary Art [ON]now, SPACE Gallery, Bravinlee programs, SPEEDWELL projects, The Maine Jewish Museum, 3S Artspace, BUOY, and the Cynthia Winings Gallery. In the spring of 2021 she curated an exhibition of Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture alumni at The Maine Jewish Museum. Her work has been featured in The Portland Press Herald, Maine Home and Design, Harpers Magazine, The Union of Maine Visual Artists, Art New England, The Columbus Dispatch, The Hand Magazine, and The Chart.