Claire Christensen

2022 BFA Exhibition



Each year, students at Maine College of Art & Design are welcomed to install work for the BFA Exhibition. There are a number of awards given out to exceptional students. This installation won Best Work by a Senior.


Through Design Inquiry: Bewilder, others and I spent a week between the deeply green Pennsylvanian forest and a sprawling meadow in the shadow of FallingWater. I found myself awing at the many patterns in my sight: from the tight lichen to the thick trees to the encircling trail on our map. I documented these in the form of rubbings, using the charcoal from our firepit. A few days later, in the comfort of a warehouse-like studio on the edge of the woods, I cut into plywood and linoleum. Using the dull gouges available to me, I crafted Hiking on Lichen and Contrast.

My cohorts and I made our way to FallingWater, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in reverence of the forest surrounding. We couldn't say much at the time, breathlessly not-listening to our tour guide, thinking about inspiration. A later day, we returned. Barefoot against the wet stone, I captured pictures of water damaged walls, leaks, and crumpled paper towels. These pictures and my rubbings became the imagery of DrippingWater, exploring the relationship with organic forms and how we capture them.

Shortly after my week in Pennsylvania, I trudged up mountain hills in Aspen, Colorado. Still awing at my surroundings: rock structures, the sky, dew clinging in the morning. Attending a workshop taught by Joshua Davis at Anderson Ranch, I practiced Processing, an open source code language. Through this language, I generated hundreds of patterns with the touch of my keyboard. Some of these patterns developed into Biomimicry by Processing 1 and 2, Cantilever, Facade, Batten, and Eave. On my final full day of the workshop, Steve Bowden and I giddily gathered supplies from the print shop and printed our laser cut blocks on the porch outside their Fab Lab.

Unexpected discoveries led to the creation of each of these pieces.  Looking closer at the brush on a trail or relishing in the burn marks of a misregistered paper, I wonder whether we can ever live up to the beauty of untethered nature.

Claire Christensen