Saturday, May 3, 2014

Elemental Nexus! The whys and wherefores.

One week from today, Elemental Nexus opens in the main gallery on the second floor of the Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador, with grateful appreciation to the Arts Council for their support of this project.  I am rather excited!  I have put a lot of thought into the body of work I've made for this exhibition, and am really looking forward to seeing it alongside the work of Urve Manuel, Colette Samson, and Heather Mills.  The nuances of how different people interpret the same theme has always interested me and, in sharing this show, the four of us have had time to really delve into the variety of ways we've wanted to explore the idea of human interaction and the elemental natural world. 

I'd like to briefly address the somewhat taboo subject of the pricing of gallery work.  Some folks can make art purely for art's sake, and I applaud them for it; however I am not one of those people at this juncture.  My work is my bread and butter, and with this in mind my work in this show is priced on a broad spectrum in an effort to be accessible to people of varying means.  I hope everyone that wishes to, can find something they desire that they can also afford and treasure.  

If you prefer to see the work and formulate your own interpretation of it, well, here is where you'll want to stop reading this post.  I am sharing the information below for those of you who wish to know the back-story of some of the work I've made.  (These are still just teaser images though, until the exhibit actually opens I don't want to spill all the beans!)  Personally, I enjoy knowing the why and wherefore of artwork as I take it in, so if you're like me, then the following descriptions are for your enlightenment, and of course will make more sense when you see the work in its entirety.  (They will be posted alongside the relevant pieces in the gallery.)  The thought process behind the topographical line of pieces I've made for the exhibit is explained simply by the titles of each piece and I did not elaborate on them further than that. 

Alas, a Forest of Glass -Sculpture with Dead Bird Pendant, detail.
 Alas, a Forest of Glass
Every year millions of birds die as they attempt to navigate our cities.  Our architectural propensity for using glass as a reflective surface, to reflect the sky or the trees - often to give the illusion that the structure isn’t substantially there at all - works all too well, unfortunately, in fooling bird populations.  The highest number of casualties occurs during the seasons of migration, but deaths still happen year-round, regardless.  Our desire for bigger, better, more illusory-type structures must be balanced with the impact these trompe l’oeil have on our feathered friends.

Adrift - Pendants awaiting necklaces to hang in a flock.
A drift is a group of birds in flight.  To be adrift is to feel cut-off, separated, alone.  Each of the birds in this flock is one of an endangered population.  In the optimistic spirit of adaptation and community, I chose to create them as a cohesive whole, flying together for survival, for a sense of belonging.  In their odd community we may better appreciate the peril of their individuality. 


"Greedy" Seal - Sculpture, detail.
"Problem" Bear - Sculpture with Bear brooch
Problem” Bear & “Greedy” Seal
Language is a powerful tool.  Words we use carelessly to label others can affect our own attitudes and the interpretation of fault or blame. Our suburbs sprawl ever further into the wilderness; our fisheries expand in efficiency.  Yet we blame a bear for rummaging in our dumpsters, or a seal for eating “our” fish.  These are only two of many examples that highlight our careless use of language to reinforce our own sense of superiority.  These phrases become ingrained in our discourse about the world and affect our perception of our role within it. 

Chance - Sculptural pinwheel with individual silver leaf brooches, detail.
Spin the wheel (gently!), and see what little bit of nature this game of chance selects for you.  Now consider, in making your choice, how will that affect the community left behind?
I created this micro-ecosystem here in the gallery to highlight how the minute effects we have on eco-systems every day have a reciprocal impact that we may not even think about.  So you squished that bee; it was a nuisance that it got into your kitchen, right?.. Except that now there’s one less bee cross-pollinating the savory you love so much with your fries, dressing, and gravy. 
Chance - An array of pins that will be installed around the pinwheel.
I chose each plant or animal in this game of chance to symbolize an essential component in our eco-system.  Mushrooms feed us, and as well they play an important role in breaking down dead plant matter; ravens do the same in the animal world with their instinct to scavenge.  Daffodils are just one of the many millions of plant-based life forms that clean our air, and they rely on cross-pollinators to continue their life cycle. Bees exemplify these cross-pollinators that are critical to the continuity and diversity of so many plant species.  Whales serve as an example of the extent to which we are depleting integral components of the food chain even before we’ve had the opportunity to learn much about them and the role they play in bio-diversity. 
The inter-connectedness of species is what makes this planet rich.  We must acknowledge the value each organism contributes to the whole.

No comments:

Post a Comment