PHOTOS: Natura Obscura Offers ‘A Surrealist Walk Through The Woods’

January 11, 2019

A new exhibition that opens Friday at the Museum of Outdoor Arts will let you tour a dreamlike forest.

Natura Obscura” covers approximately 5,000 floor to ceiling square feet of the Englewood museum. MOA designed and produced it with Prismajic, a Denver group that creates immersive environments.

The name translates to “hidden nature,” with a literal and symbolic meaning. The creators hope visitors will look internally at their own human nature while they explore the physical surroundings of the installation.

“We’re hoping that people find the environment subtle and beautiful,” Prismajic co-founder Jennifer Mosquera said. “We do not want to stir up people’s nervous systems, but we’re hoping the experience is one that smooths out their nervous systems.”

There’s a loose narrative behind this “surrealist walk through the woods,” based on a mythology Mosquera and her collaborators created. The story here “tells how the world was created in this particular case,” she said. Blacklight flashlights and augmented reality elements, accessed through a smartphone app, illuminate aspects of this mythology throughout the arts journey.

More than 30 artists, including 10 young artists from MOA’s Design and Build program, have worked on it since last June. Mosquera said they used readily accessible and durable materials, including expansion foam, Tyvek HomeWrap, and melted plastics and fabrics.

MOA has hosted immersive artworks for years, such as its “Cabinet of Curiosities & Impossibilities,” conceived in 2010 by Denver artist Lonnie Hanzon. But “this is the most ambitious interior, indoor project we’ve done,” MOA director of programs Tim Vacca said.

Natura Obscura” opens at the Museum of Outdoor Arts in Englewood Jan. 11 - April 28, 2019.