Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wreckage and Resurrection

Wreckage and Resurrection is a series of assemblages that were shown in 'The Signature of All Things', an exhibit inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert's novel of the same title. 

These pieces took a lot more work than I anticipated. I thought long and hard on how to fit the different elements together, but it didn't click into the week before they had to be finished. The rocks, dried flowers, boat and the bone allude to my own childhood collections. 

Throughout the novel, Alma is burdened with external expectations, repressed desires, heavy responsibility and her husband’s secret life in exile. The specimens under glass follow the arc of Alma’s progression from overwhelming grief to finding her way.

Moss had the temerity to begin luring the forest back to life. It is a resurrection engine. A single clump of mosses can lie dormant and dry for forty years at a stretch, and then vault back into life with a mere soaking of water. (169)

The materials used in Wreckage and Resurrection are incongruent - lace and ceramics coupled with dirt and bones; pluralism of the known and the transcendent. The dried flowers and bones reference vanitas, a highly symbolic art form exploring mortality mainly used by the Dutch still life painters of the 17th century. In each of the sculptures, lace plays an integral role in adorning, obscuring and uncovering the figure.