Nicole A Banowetz is a Denver-based artist who makes sewn, inflatable sculptures inspired by the natural world. She addresses human qualities while using the imagery she finds in the animal, plant, mineral, and bacterial worlds. Banowetz has made installations inspired by algae, bacteria, parasitic fungi, viruses, radiolaria, and rotifers—all recreated in soft, inflatable sculptures and sewn on her sewing machine. She has lived and worked internationally, showing installations with the Amsterdam Light Festival, the OpenArt biennial (Sweden), the Biennial of the Americas (Colorado), the Breckenridge International Festival (Colorado), Wonderspaces, the Denver Art Museum, Kids Awesome (Taipei), Norrköping Light Festival (Sweden), the Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival, and Barefoot Path (Finland).
Permutate is a series of three inflatable sculptures, inspired by freshwater algae living in the Arizona Canal. It is sewn from black and white fabric and lit from the inside with more than 80 meters of LED strands. When the algae portions remain untouched, they pulse lime green, similar to the natural color of an algae bloom. As viewers touch them, tendrils of red and orange discoloration emanate from the points of contact, simulating a “toxic” effect. But as more people work together to thoughtfully engage with it, the colors transform to a brilliant turquoise. When viewers engage the right amount of touch points on the pieces on either side of the canal, an algae medallion hanging above the canal at Goldwater Bridge will reward them with a light show. Learn More