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Michele Brody, "Arbor Lace", a lace covered walkway constructed of copper pipes. Supporting a drip irrigation system to water grass seed planted within pockets sewn into hanging lace walls, 2002.

Michele Brody

Based in New York City, Michele Brody creates sculptural installations and public projects throughout the US and internationally that combine living plants, light, metal, fabric and architecture. Illuminated corridors and sculptural skirts of hanging lace sprout irrigated flax seeds and native grasses that grow and die throughout the life of the exhibition. Other projects feature spotlit hanging vials with spider plants, herbs, corn or beans cycling through their limited lives like refrigerator science experiments. Admired for their beauty, transient pathos and the nagging sense that this miracle must be honored and seen.

Brody's use of skirt-shaped structures for some of these installations suggest human fertility, mortality and our roles as ecological stewards to the world at large. The viewer's experience of these works transforms over time and through space as the viewer walks through passageways and rooms festooned with life. The forms of the hanging screens and plantings also make reference to the architecture of the gallery or of nearby buildings and are partly translucent, as well, allowing for a layering of realities." An odor of growth and decay" completes the visual experience, passing "through a three-week life cycle from germination to flourishing, then death."

Michele Brody also creates public urban projects that connect people to local history and the hidden geography of our cities. "Re-Covering the Cityscape: Impressions of History Underfoot" (2001), involved the creation of ornamental manhole covers throughout Manhattan, that related to local architecture and the location of former ponds and underground waterways. These practical cast iron covers call attention to additional layers present in the fabric of our cities. Driven over, stepped on and often overlooked, they link us to our roots: the cycles of life, death and memory which sustain us and all other living things.


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