E.V. Day’s Pollinator (water lily) sculptures replicate in cast aluminum the reproductive organs of a water lily from Claude Monet's renowned gardens in Giverny, France. While Day was artist-in-residence at the Monet Foundation, she plucked the ephemeral, iconic flower and then used a microwave press to flatten it. She scanned the result at high-resolution to produce a two-dimensional photo, and from that photo built a 3-dimensional digital model to produce this series of polished cast aluminum sculptures.
From a single live specimen, Day memorializes the fragile life-force of the flower on a grand, monumental scale. Having digitized the bloom and then reanimated it in relief—and each Pollinator shows a different degree of relief, a different moment of re-growth—she makes a powerful statement about technology’s ability to reconstitute life in another world and location in a futuristic form. Her process brings to mind science-fiction tropes of translocation, specifically Star Trek’s “Transporter” machine, in which actors dissolve into a cloud of electrostatic particles of light and are transported to another world. Here, a coveted flower from Giverny has been reconstituted in Aspen as a steroidal, enveloping, propulsive version of its former self: magnified hundreds of times in size, multiplied in a series of sizes and elevations, and fixed in brilliant metal.
Each of the drawings (Water Lily I, Water Lily II, and Water Lily III) exhibited with the Pollinator sculptures is a unique laser-etching in glass, embedded with pigment the color of Monet’s water lily. And each of these images shows a different view of the digital model Day used to produce the sculptures. The drawings represent the mid-stage of the flower being processed from a flat scan back into a three dimensional form.