With this object, I am addressing a space that allows us to contemplate new ways of knowing. This space is both a process and a portal. It is also a dedication to all that our world is and what we can know of it—as well as that which we can never know. I am attempting to shift our—and my own—understanding of the world from a reliance on linearity towards a deeper encounter with not knowing. Much of this altered understanding comes from a direct engagement with the “more than human” world, whether that is with the wild or through the objects we make. It also occurs via the body, through the act of craft; to that end my work process is deliberate, repetitive, and conceived of as a devotional offering. Recognizing the sacred and mysterious in our daily activities is central to this understanding as well as to our resilience and our generosity in how we live. In the end, the audience was able to interact with the sculpture by offering handfuls of broken glass to its center. The sound that it made and the sense of delight and reverence it engendered was a manifestation of our engagement with mystery.
What We Know in Our Bones, 2017, installation view, basalt, porcelain, auto glass; photo by Mario Galluci.
2017, installation view, basalt, porcelain, auto glass; photo by Mario Galluci.
Detail, gathering glass.
Detail, from above.
Detail, what is offered.
Detail, artifact from interaction.
Detail, how it was left.
Sound offering (listen here).
Despite the reductive, rational eye with which we have examined and explained our world, it remains an exquisite mystery. Life is delicate and tenuous and it takes place amidst perilous forces. Navigate/Discern points to the possibility and the danger of what we don’t know: the whimsy and the grace and the peril of that which is sharp and hidden and mysterious. This occurs in space, something that we must approach and navigate, and as signs and gestures we must interpret. This relationship between objects that direct us and marks that we must discern, even if we are uncertain of what our response should be to either, is the underlying quality of living in this world. We have made objects and marks that seem familiar and friendly and under our control or recognizable, however this deeper gesture always exists, describes our existence. My work process is based on response to material and mark. The edges where these qualities come together is the place where my interest and my response lies. The contours of the line and how it is bound, revealed, formed, seamed, obscured is the signal for my next gesture. The moment of pursuit or retreat. Navigating these moments are the repose of deep listening as I handle material and surrender to the agency of the material itself.
Navigate/Discern, 2016, installation view, stoneware, graphite, plaster; photo by Rachel Eli Jones
Detail, gallery wall, graphite, plaster.
Detail, gallery wall, graphite, plaster.
Detail; gallery wall, graphite, plaster.
Detail, gallery floor, graphite.
Akin to Drawings
I say akin to drawings because while they are borne of like elements—paper, graphite, chalk pastels—they don't always seem like drawings. Sometimes they seem like collage, sometimes they seem like sculptural objects, sometimes it is difficult to determine how the marks were made. These pieces reflect my curiosity with what is not quite definable.
Center Repair, 2017, graphite, chalk pastel on paper, 22 x 30”; photo by Mario Galluci.
Center Repair, detail; photo by Mario Galluci.
Repair Grid, 2017, graphite, chalk pastel on paper, 30 x 30”; photo by Mario Galluci.
Repair Grid, detail; photo by Mario Galluci.
Spreading Repair, 2017, graphite, chalk pastel on paper, 22 x 30”; photo by Mario Galluci.
Cracked, 2018, graphite, chalk pastel on paper, 22 x 8”; photo by Dan Kvitka.
Lined, 2018, graphite, chalk pastel on paper, 22 x 8”; photo by Dan Kvitka.
Seamed, 2018, graphite, chalk pastel on paper, 22 x 8”; photo by Dan Kvitka.
Pebbles, 2019, graphite, chalk pastel on paper, 40 x 50”; photo by Phil Harris.
Pebbles, 2019, detail; photo by Phil Harris.
Repair, 100 Ways
Torn. Stained. Cracked, without a complete separation of parts. Sundered, split apart, with nothing but bits remaining. How do we make meaning out of that which is no longer whole? We are reluctant to consider the broken. We eschew fragility and distance ourselves from what seems to be weakness. Yet, in addressing that which has fallen apart, we might find renewed strength, a sense of peace, perhaps even wisdom. Sometimes this means to repair, sometimes to gather up, sometimes to simply honor and witness the remains. In the act of gathering, stitching, drawing pieces together, I am revising their relationships and associations, considering both the rend and the space, the wound and the redemption. In bringing our attention to bear on that which is broken, perhaps be transformed by what it is that we think we cannot bear.
Repair, 100 Ways, 2016, installation view, mixed media; photo by Mario Gallucci.
Installation view, mixed media; photo by Mario Gallucci.
Detail view, mixed media; photo by Mario Gallucci.
Detail, graphite, wax on paper; photo by Mario Galluci.
Detail, graphite on paper; photo by Mario Galluci.
It Comes from Us
It Comes from Us, 2017, silk, hair, feathers, porcelain; photo by Mario Galluci.
Vents, 2017, porcelain, graphite; photo by Mario Galluci.
Detail; photo by Mario Galluci.
Specimen I, 2015, silk thread, thorns, gampi, indigo-dyed silk; photo by Beth Conyers.
Specimen II, 2015, metallic thread, feathers, gampi, indigo-dyed silk; photo by Beth Conyers.
Specimen III, 2015, hematite, pearls, gampi, indigo-dyed silk; photo by Beth Conyers.
In our daily round we are constantly in dialog with the natural world or open to chance occurrences—even if we are not aware of this or try to control its emergence. Using found objects, such as sticks or rocks, as well as paper plaster, silk, graphite, the pieces I am making are revealed to me. Literally as I sand, scrape, and burnish surfaces to find a more resolved shape or embedded materials. Metaphorically, as a time based process that occurs in response to gestures that I initiate but am not ultimately in control of. Using found materials as a tool or other materials as filters or layers, I want to work in relationship with the unexpected. The aim of my work is to reflect and inspire the quality of attention I spend in creating my work, in the viewer. In What Gets Revealed, the viewer has the opportunity to interact with the drawing tool, allowing them the opportunity to glimpse what it is I am trying to experience and create.
What Gets Revealed, 2016, installation view, mixed media; photo by Jodi J. Jack.
Wall Drawing II (detail), silk, graphite; photo by Jodi J. Jack.
Mound I (detail), graphite, plaster; photo by Jodi J. Jack.
Mound II (detail), graphite, plaster; photo by Jodi J. Jack.
Mound III (detail), graphite, plaster, metal pins; photo by Jodi J. Jack.