Celeste Cooning creates magical, 3-D environments out of paper. For Spaceworks Tacoma she created The Golden Hour at 912 Broadway, an installation that evokes the overblown lushness of a Jurassic garden in luscious colors of pink and gold. Huge tree fronds, fluttery botanical forms and a honeycombed heart are incised with intricate patterns that allow the warm light to pass through. Using stencils, Cooning cuts all the patterns by hand from 4-5 ft. sections of paper or tear-resistant Tyvek.
“My formal training is rooted in a figurative painting tradition,” she said in an e-mail exchange. But an experiment with cut-paper panels led to working with wall-size shapes which she arranges so the effects of light and shadow become active elements.
Cooning’s work references the vibrant cut-paper art of Mexico and China: “As I became more invested in the medium, the vast history of the cut-paper tradition quickly surfaced. I am certainly inspired by both my contemporaries and the many traditions spanning cultures around the world,” she notes.
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Nearby The Golden Hour on Broadway is Nicole Linde‘s sparkling light installation, The Crystalline Garden. Inspired by a season spent in Iceland, Linde’s candy-color lightscape is framed by wintry, stripped branches and shines like a star-sprinkled, sci-fi altarpiece to Thor. It’s another good reason to take an evening art walk by the Pantages Theater and the Woolworth Building. The Crystalline Garden, 908 Broadway, through July 1.