Transformations brings the work of contemporary artists and makers into the galleries and garden at Winterthur. Highlighting artistic expressions created by Winterthur Fellows, these installations celebrate the continuing inspiration provided by Winterthur’s museum, garden, and library collections. 

Explore the works of these artists and makers and discover how Winterthur’s landscape and material culture moved them to transform their impressions of the past into artistic and experiential representations that comment on the present.

Featured Artists

Artist Deirdre Murphy

Since childhood, Deirdre Murphy has been fascinated by nature, citing it as consistent inspiration in her art. Beginning her process with observational paintings made en plein air, Murphy translates the intersection of nature, science, and manmade decorative arts in her works.

Read more in the blog post, Beyond Transformations: Deirdre Murphy.

Soprano Elissa Edwards and Élan Ensemble 

Edwards, known for her expressive vocal interpretations, spontaneous ornamentation, and intelligent regard for communicating poetic text, specializes in historically informed performance and gesture of the 17th and 18th centuries. Edwards and Élan Ensemble used materials from the library collection and sounds recorded in the Winterthur Garden to create an audio soundscape that represents the four seasons. The recording serves as a soundtrack to the Outside In: Nature-inspired Design at Winterthur exhibition.

Read more in the blog post, Beyond Transformations: Elissa Edwards.

Artist Daniel Feinberg

The Radish Project uses tillage radishes planted in patterns inspired by rugs and parquet floors in the house at Winterthur to break up areas of old asphalt and alleviate environmental degradation by improving soil quality and drainage.

This collaborative project, led by artist Dr. Daniel Feinberg and scientist Dr. Mary Parr from Berea College, considers how to destroy asphalt without using damaging heavy machinery by planting radishes directly into holes drilled in the surface. Documentation of the project will result in a surprising, augmented reality project that will be revealed in the house in coming years. For now, visitors can see the radishes growing in several spots on the Winterthur property.

Read more in the blog post, Beyond Transformations: Dan Feinberg.

Artists Kim Hall and Justin Hardison, Nottene  

The hand-drawn, hand-screened wallpapers and fabrics of Nottene design and pattern studio evoke a range of emotions regarding history, people, and place. Nottene’s 2020 wallpaper and textile collection was inspired by Hall’s and Hardison’s Maker-Creator Fellowship at Winterthur in 2019. Hall and Hardison have redecorated the West Gallery Lounge, adjacent to the Outside In: Nature-inspired Design at Winterthur exhibition, with a mural, hand-painted fabrics, and other surprises to express their interpretation of bringing the outside in. 

Read more in the blog post, Beyond Transformations: Nottene.

Sculptor Stefania Urist 

Urist’s work addresses ideas about gender, growth, architecture, and the environment while exploring the dichotomy of hard and soft, industry and domesticity, and architecture and organic growth by pushing the uses of her materials. For Transformations, Urist created several pieces, including Mapping the Impact, a glass sculpture that shows the topography of a stump as a metaphor for human impact on the environment, and Bonded Memories and Fragmented Memories, two works that together illustrate how trees are milled into lumber. Based on a pattern embossed in paper from a 300-year-old white oak tree that fell at Winterthur last year, the works invite visitors to consider what connects us to nature and to each other.  

Watercolor Painter Rob Finn

Finn’s art is an investigation into the character of trees that shows how climate, geology, and human society affect the morphology of each species. A Maker-Creator Fellow at Winterthur in 2020–2021, Finn studied the grounds and created dozens of tree portraits. His watercolor tree portraits show a modern sensibility in landscape painting by focusing on individual arboreal models rather than the grand and expansive perspectives that have historically dominated the genre. Finn’s Browns Meadow Tree, which celebrates a 300-year-old white oak tree lost to a hurricane and tornado in August 2020, is featured in the entryway to the first-floor galleries.

Read more in the blog post, Beyond Transformations: Rob Finn.

Ceramicist Heather Ossandon

Having observed the techniques and traditions of classically functioning ceramic communities around the world, Ossandon spotlights time-honored practices in the creation of everyday objects that are vehicles in the conversation about art and its social applications. On a table in the Society of Winterthur Fellows Gallery, Ossandon’s ceramic still life. Still Life with Fruit, examines the connection between the landscape and the food prepared for the many tables of the people who once lived and worked at Winterthur. Ossandon was a Maker-Creator Fellow in 2018.

Read more in the blog post, Beyond Transformations: Heather Ossandon.

The Artists & The Muse

Enjoy these behind-the-scenes features and get a glimpse of the artists’ creative process.