Flourish | a temporary public art installation

My work centers around finding the points of intersection between the built and natural worlds. I'm a firm believer in EO Wilson's concept of biophilia, that humans are attuned to the natural world and maintaining that connection is integral to our well-being. I'm equally interested in finding information and beauty in the precision geometries, repetition and structure of the urban environment; shorthand: "living well in the built world." So I was delighted when the innovative urban planner+landscape architecture firm Teska Associates and Downtown Evanston asked me to generate some ideas for a temporary public art installation as part of a 'people space' or parklet concept. Understanding how to create engaging public spaces fits well with my interests in creating engaging visual experiences. Public art is an opportunity to create moments of surprise and discovery. And, in this case, an opportunity to source and experiment with temporary, removable materials.

Flourish is a playful re-imagining of lines and forms from the built world as organic, growing elements. Functional materials--masonry tape and bike reflectors--are re-purposed to create a new experience of the streetscape.

Flourish | detail | tape+reflectors | 30'x6' c Heather Hancock 2015


In daylight, the piece is fresh greens with popping accents in reds and ambers.


In the evening, ambient light and motion makes for a flickering, shimmering walk-by experience.

Living in urban landscapes requires new ways of seeing beauty and finding moments of surprise in the repetition and precision of the built environment.

Big thanks to Downtown Evanston for commissioning this project...and being game to experiment with this concept. Stay tuned for the next steps at this corner with Teska Associates, Downtown Evanston and The Other Brother Coffeehouse.

Flourish | sign

More about this project.