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CAMHLAB | Preston Gaines and Mich Stevenson | NURTURE

Houston-based artists Preston Gaines and Mich Stevenson collaborate to create an immersive installation titled NURTURE, offering visitors a respite of rest, reflection and contemplation through sound, bespoke furniture and tapestry installation, and a dense array of tropical plants. The installation is located in the Museum’s newly renovated space adjacent to the Nina and Michael Zilkha Gallery. NURTURE opens publicly on May 13, 2021 and remain on view through August 8, 2021.

Humans need respite and reflection—a break before society returns to what is perceived as “normal.” This can happen through intention, reflection, and through a willful suspension of time. Gaines and Stevenson seek to offer this interlude through NURTURE. Gaines and Stevenson invite visitors to slow down and become aware of the sonic frequency of the gallery space. Through harmonic resonance the artists are able to bring people, the architecture of the Museum, and nature to the same frequency. 

“We’re so pleased Preston Gaines and Mich Stevenson are CAMHLAB artists-in-residence—their work invites visitors to CAMH into a space of introspection that encourages lingering and reflection—qualities we can all embrace right now. In this moment of reemergence, Preston and Mich’s work offers a welcoming and nurturing haven within the Museum,” said CAMH Executive Director Hesse McGraw.    

The installation offers a melding of lush color fields of light with an ever-evolving landscape of plants, geometric forms, and natural materials, to create a combination of sensory stimuli that are both meditative and dissociative. NURTURE is a physical representation of the relationship between light, tone, color, harmonic intervals, and form—exploring the subjective nature of the viewer’s perception. The viewer is encouraged to not only perceive, but also interact with the mass and physicality of the collective elements. 

In this contentious time where so many feel a sense of disconnect from each other and nature, interventions like NURTURE feel not only important but necessary for healing and growth within our communities.

Visit CAMH.ORG/CAMHLAB for more information regarding these artists, their process, and in-person and/or virtual programs for this CAMHLAB project over the next few months.

About the Artists

Preston A. Gaines (b. 1990), is a Houston-based architect, artist, and industrial designer that manifests the hidden properties of nature through the use of technology, with the intention of learning and re-establishing our connection to the Earth. His immersive botanical installations and furniture designs raise fundamental questions about our collective experience and imagine radical possibilities for the future of art and design. Any built environment can have a physiological effect on the viewer inhabiting the space—Gaines’ intent is to go beyond that to a psychological level.

Mich Stevenson (b. 1987), is a native Houstonian raised in creole traditions and the church, along the coastal south. Stevenson’s work serves to be restorative within its environments so as to exist as accessible reference points of peace and remembrance — meeting people together and returning them to the reflection of who they can be together on Earth. Stevenson is a sculptor, painter, meditation and yoga instructor living and working in Houston, Texas.