Student Work: Alice Langlois

Alice Langlois [BFA 19 FAV, NCSS Concentrator] expresses her intimate connection with nature through her creative work at RISD. Her films beautifully capture the fascination, wonder, and amazement she feels when engaging with nature, a relationship she hopes will resonate with her audience.

In the film fig. VII, Alice focused on visually narrating plant movement. She used organic materials such as leaves, butterfly wings (from the Edna Lawrence Natural History Collection), soil, etc. to portray how different plants grow and move. What helped in making this film is a process that preserved the leaves without drying them, keeping them flexible and malleable for the stop + motion animation. This unique fabrication process helped Alice express natural movements that occur in the environment.

fig. VII from Alice Langlois on Vimeo.

Alice's second film, the anatomy of a feather, got inspiration from a RISD liberal arts called Birds in Books. She set out to collect as many feathers as possible and used time-based media to curiously explore how they are different from each other. With the help of the Nature Lab's Olympus SZX16 stereo microscope, the film uses multiple scales to eloquently capture a feather's movement within its own form.

the anatomy of a feather from Alice Langlois on Vimeo.

Alice's nature inspired work extends beyond her studio practice. As the co-president of RISD's Garden Club, she and two other club members, co-president Sophia Glasser-Kerr [BFA 19 Painting] and Qianyi Zhang [BFA 19 Industrial Design], started a collaborative study into building a greenhouse on Farnum Park. Alice spoke to how this location would remain a park, but with a new multifunctional component that provides the community with educational experiences in urban agriculture and sustainable design. With many people caring about where their food comes from, a greenhouse such as this would enable community members to plant and grow their own produce.

To ensure this addition to Farnum Park gets taken care of, they're logistically planning who would oversee the upkeep of the space. The Garden Club would be first in managing the greenhouse, in the hopes that it'll become a lasting project that showcases sustainably designed agriculture in an urban environment.

This initiative has received great support from many members of the RISD and local community, including the College Hill Neighborhood Association. While waiting in anticipation for final approval, Alice, Sophia, and Qianyi hope that the greenhouse build out can start this summer with help from students, faculty, and RISD facilities.

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The RISD Nature Lab is an EPSCoR|C-AIM Core Research Facility supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #OIA-1655221 and EAGER Grant Award #1723559. ​​​Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this site are those of the Nature Lab and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.​

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