Mara Ellsworth 

artist/architect/urban visionary

art and architecture luminous dreams projections

“An invitation of a beautiful street is an invitation to walk within a dream!”

― Mehmet Murat Ildan

 

“La rue est une musée pour tous!” “The street is a museum for all.”

― Hergé

It looks like scenes from the Great Depression. Vacant storefronts and decaying infrastructure stand on once vibrant streets. Countless independently-owned businesses that previously defined the urban fabric have been replaced by big box stores and online shopping. Whole neighborhoods have become urban ghost towns. For someone who loves cities and pedestrian life, I find these realities sad and distressing.


As an artist and architect, I illuminate city streets, transforming darkened windows and abandoned infrastructure into vivid projected

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dreamscapes. I infuse the urban landscape with new opportunities for sensual experience, at once visceral and immediate but also calming and contemplative.  I use the technology of high resolution digital mapping to create these immersive installations integrating imagery with architecture. Light is my medium and buildings are my canvas. 

 

I juxtapose nature with built form: Reimagining storefronts as fish tanks, construction sites as tortoise egg laying grounds, rooftop water tanks as swimming holes. I fantasize about underwater landscapes where I could swim. The scale of my urban projections also suggests the lost city of Atlantis or a dystopian vision of global warming. A surreal encroachment of wildlife sequences through my video compilations. Armies of turkeys, geese, coyotes and raccoons bent on recapturing their lost terrain. 

 

In addition to reintroducing these creatures, I weave into my imagery the unique history and character of neighborhoods and communities, their parks, rivers and street fairs.  Visions of urban renewal and reinvention offer hope for overcoming the great pandemic of challenges we all face in the era of a disruptive health crisis. For some it is literally an existential crisis and for others a time for reawakening and for reimagining our shared future.