Hannah Verlin
The installation Emergence was created over two days with two classes of foundation sculpture students at the Montserrat College of Art following an exhibition of Verlin’s work at the school’s 301 Gallery.

Verlin began the project by introducing the students to her work, reviewing how she develops ideas and her use of simple materials/simple processes. Springing off of her on-going fascination with fungus and slime molds, she talked about the idea of emergence, creating complex systems out of many simple actions, both as a practice and as an inspiration. She distributed pieces of black paper (between 2" x 2" and 6" x 6") and had the students cut out rounded organic shapes based off of the images of fungal growths that she had shown them.

On the second day, working in groups of 5-6, Verlin and the students assembled the installation. Again working off the images of fungal growths, Verlin had the students attach the paper forms they had cut out to the walls and windows of the Frame 301 Gallery. Each group built off of the previous groups' work and made decisions about how best to create the installation in terms of its layout and design.

The project demonstrated to the students how simple materials and processes could become something complex, with the layers of shapes shifting with the viewer’s perspective. It also allowed the students to create something bigger than their individual effort.