BLOSSOMS OF LOSS AND DESIRE
In this series of works, I explore the processes of growth, bloom and decay in nature. My point of departure is Darwin’s treatise on the sex life and reproductive organs of orchid. Nature is beautiful but also dark in its power. Blooming is an unstable process that can sometimes result in collapse. Tree branches push forward, penetrate and invade.
For Ovid (Metamorphoses, AD 8), a number of plants were actually transformations of human beings: the grief-stricken lover, the wounded athlete, the doomed narcissist. Their outward beauty is an expression of desire and loss. That idea is the focus of this exhibition - BLOSSOMS OF LOSS AND DESIRE.
I am fascinated by states in which multiple forms co-exist. I use different techniques to evoke these states of neither/both. Translucent materials- inks, vellum paper, thin papier-maché – enable the accumulation of visual layers, so that different forms can overlap within the same space. The sculptural pieces feel like an outgrowth of my paintings and drawings into a new form. I mold fragments of drawings together using a mixture of thin tissue, medium, ink and pigment, while incorporating leaves, branches, tree roots, or shells. These were also the collections of my childhood, natural objects invested with supernatural significance.
As I construct these sculptures, I feel as if I were crafting a skin, a permeable container or membrane. I embed veins of wire and branches beneath the surface, to evoke both the veins of a leaf and those of a hand. The inclusions also have anatomical associations: white twigs evoke a skeleton, the curve of a palm branch suggests the muscle of a thigh. The results are chimera-like, a combination of different strands of DNA.
MICHELINE KLAGSBRUN, MARCH 2016