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Lenticular Curtain




A viewer emerges

Harbourfront’s Breathtaking: Constructed Landscapes exhibition questioned the role of architecture in experiencing the natural world. Lenticular Curtain was our response – a moving and inhabitable architectural construction of a landscape. We wanted to explore a fusion of architecture and landscape that obliterates the threshold between the two, creating an immersive and surprising experience that infuses, inhabits, and amplifies the landscape.

The installation constructs a 10.5' × 10.5' square Parry Sound forest object using four images (one per side) and conceals a surprising ovoid interior space that is an expansive seascape (Peggy’s Cove). The curtain is made of image strips, and each image is repeated on multiple layers precisely positioned throughout the depth of each side – looking into the forest on the outside, looking out to the sea on the inside – with alternating images strips missing. The effect of this is that standing outside and looking dead on, the entire image coalesces into one, but as you move from side to side, the image has depth and is lenticular (the same principle as those old fashioned plastic postcards that appear to show movement when you move your head).

The forest feels like a solid object, but then moves gently as visitors walk around it, casting multiple shadows on the floor. To enter it, you walk into the forest from anywhere on the outside, parting the trees like a bead curtain. The strips easily move aside, but with their weighted bottoms, they quickly return to position to maintain the integrity and surprise of the interior experience. Inside, a fabric wrapped log bench invites visitors to sit, positioning them accurately to the horizon that seems to stretch to infinity. The lenticular effect here is especially pronounced – so immersive that some people almost felt vertigo from the visual sense of depth. From the outside you could hear exclamations of surprise, drawing others in for the experience. The installation was not simply a constructed landscape object – it was a pair of spaces, demanding exploration by the viewer.

Lenticular Curtain was remounted at the University of Texas at Austin in October 2013 as part of the CURTAINS conference.



View of the lenticular curtain from outside

View upon entering the Gallery



View of the lenticular curtain from outside

Looking back at the entry



View of the lenticular curtain from outside

The rear view



View of the lenticular curtain from outside

View from the East



View of the lenticular curtain from outside

From the Southeast



Detail view of the curtain

Detail of the outside face



View of the lenticular curtain from inside

The interior view



View of the lenticular curtain from inside

The interior – turned around



View of the lenticular curtain from inside

View of the interior bench



Detail view of the curtain

Detail view of the interior



CURTAINS Conference images (credit: Alison Steele)



Exhibition View - photo Alison Steele



Exhibition View - photo Alison Steele



Exhibition View - photo Alison Steele



Exhibition View - photo Alison Steele



Exhibition View - photo Alison Steele



Exhibition View - photo Alison Steele



Exhibition View - photo Alison Steele



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