The Lath Hunter

Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels

photobyLarsenFarrell -cmyk copy

Meet Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels,aTennessee-raised, Australian American artist based in Brooklyn. Driven by a desire for sustainability and personal economics, Bothwell Fels has been using reclaimed wood to create large-scale installations inspired by the geometry of Sierpinski triangles. Her choice of medium is lath—a material found inside plaster walls—recovered from construction zones. Rather than let the wood go to waste, Bothwell Fels rescues it from dumpsters, creating new from the discarded. She attaches these fractal sets to each other and then affixes them to the existing walls around her, building up, spreading out, layer upon layer.“I do a lot of stacking in my work,” explains Bothwell Fels. “I think a lot about the multi-layers that happen in an environment and that also happen psychologically.”

Her approach is perhaps informed by her time at Stanford where she double majored in Sociology and Political Science. Both well Fels refers to the family system theory, a branch of psychology suggesting that individuals can be understood only in context with their ancestral family unit. This layering effect is what inspires her art. When asked about what informs and inspires her process, Bothwell Fels says: “Every installation I have done has led to the next one raising questions that I want to attempt to answer with the next piece.” The repetition in her work is hypnotic, while at the same time the viewer is left to dismantle a linear time paradox of being nostalgic and wholly futuristic—an element ever evident in Bothwell Fels installations. Her work has been shown at Pioneer Works, The Clock tower Gallery, Scope, and the Pala is de Tokyo in Paris. For more information please visit


Text by Debra Winter
Photography by Larsen Farrell