Nina Dubois and Eso Robinson

Nina Dubois and Eso Robinson brought their eager, open minds and gentle, collaborative spirits to PLAND for the purpose of engaging with the site in interpretive and intuitive ways. They claimed that, together, they could build (almost) anything and, well, it turned out to be true. During their two week residency, Nina and Eso observed that one of the favorite perches and sleeping spots at PLAND — the second level of the Main house — offered a windy retreat and vantage point across the mesa but was accessible only by a small ladder. Their simple yet inspired solution? To construct a wide, sturdy staircase, using mainly materials gleaned from the site.

The glorious staircase

The Grand Staircase

Nina and Eso told us in their residency application that they each make artworks which function as “transcriptive instruments for translating temporal and natural phenomena” and that they would be interested in “the possibility of creating one such sculptural instrument within the structure of the Main House as an active mediator between the built space and the surrounding environment.” We can think of no better sculptural mediator than a staircase.

In many ways, Nina and Eso’s functional addition to the Main House embodies the ethos of PLAND: to make use of what is at hand, to see grand purpose in humble beginnings, and to use location as a liberating force for one’s perspective.  We are looking forward to the valuable service this Grand Staircase offers to future PLAND residents and visitors!

Eso begins executing the design

Eso begins executing the design

Nina begins putting the piece together

Nina begins putting the pieces together

Nina incorporates aspects of architecture, art, design and ecological practices to generate spaces that allow for new understanding and experience of the environments we inhabit, exploring the pragmatic, phenomenological, and symbolic aspects of the relationship between built space and nature. As an MFA candidate in the University of New Mexico’s Art & Ecology program, Nina is weaving together her interests into a comprehensive, integrated praxis which combines research, teaching and artistic production.

Eso Robinson is a multi-media artist who uses metalwork, photography, found objects and text to create evocative objects and installations of aesthetic resonance. She seeks to continuously build a dialogue that challenges the more static traditional nature of aesthetics, ultimately enhancing the viewers’ awareness and experience of their surroundings and the passage of time. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of New Mexico.