Lara Knutson

2012 Artist In Residence

Nebula Necklace with iridescent strands, 2011.


Objects become special when you experience a moment with them. The materials I'm using create a situation where the viewer sees light flash at them, sometimes it's only for a moment.  What I love most about this material is that it's not always interesting. Everyone in a room is seeing something different and the material engages people to interact with it.


My current work stems from over 10 years of experimenting and paying attention to the different phenomena that I've noticed with reflective glass fabric. It's about stretching the limits, living with the material and noticing what happens. It seems to be inspired by growing up a the beach and looking at the night sky. I've always loved looking at natural things that glow and reflect light such as fish scales, sea shells and water glistening on the surface.  I think it's important to follow my intuition while working and most importantly, without judgement, allowing materials to act like they want to in order to uncover their inherent beauty.  I'm not trying to force meaning onto something, it's more about finding the meaning by letting these materials reveal themselves to me.  For instance, one of the major things I notice is that the material really kind of dances and responds to the viewer.


With this material, I created a 3D lighting effect that is now patent pending.  It was a discovery I made by experimenting for my master's thesis at Pratt.  What happens is that light itself looks like a thing that can be touched, but doesn't really exist.  It's as if light is a real material.  While in the open studio at MAD, I'm going to experiment with this effect to create light fixtures that are more about finding the right form to contain the different types of light phenomena rather than creating a form first.  I call it "Form Follows Phenomenon".


Lara Knutson lives and works in New York City and received her Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Industrial Design degrees both from Pratt Institute.  Her work Is in the collections museums and shown in galleries in the US.


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