Some claim the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. However, for artist Emily Fens’ “Rainbow Room,” both the whole and the individual parts are integral to understanding her installation.
“Rainbow Room” opened Jan. 12 in Rice’s Matchbox Gallery in Sewall Hall. In the small white room, hundreds of watercolor paper amoebas span the walls to create a flowing rainbow that challenges the viewer’s sense of size and scale.
Fens explains that the rainbow amoebas form a commentary on scale and perspective. Her interest in scale, from the microscopic amoeba to the macroscopic rainbow, stem from her days as a student studying neuroscience and examining “nature scientifically, analytically, from a really, really small perspective and then a bigger overall perspective.” She encourages the viewers’ fluctuations between close and distant examinations, which she hopes will portray a strong sense of flow.
Viewing the installation becomes a personal experience that is different for everyone, especially based on each viewer’s familiarity with Fens’ Instagram account (@emilyfens), where she has been posting sneak peeks of her process of making the amoebas for months.
“Rainbow Room” will be viewable at Rice’s Matchbox Gallery until Feb. 1, 2017 at Sewall Hall Courtyard, Rice University. To book an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.