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“Iterations over Trees” opens at Smith Gallery


By Lauren Miller

An exhibition titled “Iterations over Trees” by Clara Bertaut ’18 and Julia Cory ’18 opened at the Smith Gallery on Monday, April 9. When coming up with the idea for an exhibition in the gallery, Bertaut and Cory looked for overlaps in their work. That overlap came in the form of trees.

“It started with us wanting to do a Smith show, and from there we looked at what our work had in common. Trees is what we landed on as a recurring theme,” Cory said.

Their project is a play on the “Tree” data structure used in computer science. As Bertaut is a computer science major and Cory a studio art major, the two artists were interested in seeing how the two disciplines connected. Together, they created a multidimensional work.

“The conceptual center of the project is technology and nature and how they interact and how they can change in different situations,” Cory said.

One part of the project includes intricate copper wire trees with circuit board backgrounds made by Bertaut, serving as the physical representation. Cory created a digital representation of glass trace collages, where she sketched trees and put them on a glass backdrop. The exhibition also includes an animated video that they collaborated on as part of a previous project.

“The animation started it all. That was the intersection,” Bertaut explained.

They branched out from there, adding images to the animation and building the other two pieces of the project. The pieces build off of each other to create a show that envelops multiple disciplines in an interesting and unique way. Bertaut felt that the different aspects of the exhibition came together organically.

“Bringing [all the different pieces together] seemed natural,” she said.

Bertaut and Cory had been working on their project for the whole semester, and the final product reflects the effort they put in.

“Once we had the work up on the wall, we were really satisfied with how [all the parts] were interacting with the space,” Bertaut said.

She described how the small size of the Smith Gallery is fitting to their exhibition, as most of their pieces are small and would not have looked right in a larger space.  She also expressed appreciation for the accessibility of the gallery, which is located right next to the dining hall.

“Iteration over Trees” will be on display in Smith Gallery until Friday, April 20.

The exhibit explores the connection between computer science and studio art. Photo by Sofia Mendez.
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