Crystal Wagner is fascinated by root systems and the natural environment around her. The branches that split off trees draw her in with their organic curves.
This fascination has become the foundation for Wagner’s art. She creates small sculptures to large-scale installations that represent organic forms and structures. Her installations have been showcased on the inside and outside of buildings around the world.
Now, she’s creating her latest installation “Sublime” at Fort Works Art.
“I want my work to be an exploration,” she said. “I want it to evoke a sense of wonder. I want it to remind people to go outside to interact with the natural landscape.”
The installation is a new experience for residents in Fort Worth, Fort Works Art owner Lauren Saba said. The nonprofit Gallery of Dreams is sponsoring the exhibition, which is Wagner’s first following the pandemic.
The build began on June 24 with help from a small team of four other local artists selected by Wagner and Saba.
“You’re coming in to be immersed and encapsulated in this space that’s created by an artist,” Saba said. “This sculpture to me looks like it took 50 people months to create. And it’s literally been created by women in days.”
With each location, Wagner builds her installations based on the architecture of the building.
“When you enter a building, for me it’s a blank canvas,” she said. “I show up and work intuitively in the space and grow the form here. Before I got on location here in Fort Worth, I didn’t have a plan as to what I was going to do aside from what the interior space suggested.”
After walking through the gallery, Wagner knew she wanted to stretch the installation across the space.
“This is one of the first pieces where I feel like I can really employ movement because there are so many different environments within the gallery,” Wagner said. “ The installation is going to grow, interact with the walls and live here.”
The installation is made of chicken wire and reused party tablecloth ranging in colors. To keep with the organic principles of her art, the primary colors of the installation are also determined in the moment.
Wagner is a contemporary interdisciplinary artist from Los Angeles. She received her master’s degree from the University of Tennessee in 2008. Prior to working as an artist, she was a college art professor for five years.
Fort Works Art is an art gallery and event organization founded in 2014 by Saba and J.W. Wilson. Originally a pop-up gallery, the organization moved to their brick-and-mortar building and have been there since 2016. The gallery previously represented Wagner in 2017 with her solo exhibition Tropism.
Wagner hopes people who come see the exhibition are inspired to tap into their creativity.
“It’s important for me that we don’t lose sight of how healthy it is to foster our imaginations,” she said. “It’s in these spaces where we’re using creativity, that we’re going to find solutions for things that are burdening the world that we live in.”
David Moreno is a multimedia specialist fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at email@example.com or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.