Tanya Chaly makes visible the invisible forces of nature through interventions into her analytical drawings on paper of animals and the ecosystems they inhabit. Her work balances order with disorder, meticulously combining renderings in graphite and charcoal with indications of impending microscopic threats. Often, they take the form of thousands of pinholes depicting the molecular structures and toxins that impact species, and the delicate systems in nature that support them. While some of the most vulnerable of animals might adapt to these environmental pressures, others will mutate or succumb to them. The tension in Chaly’s work is apparent in the beauty of her drawing and the innate beauty of the creatures she’s drawn, while, simultaneously, acknowledging the possibility of their extinction. Her work and installations are layered with clues to understanding complex issues in science and life. In the process, poignant questions arise surrounding resilience, survival and loss.
The exhibition, Where Nature Ends, presents the work of seven artists who, together, display layered investigations into the forces of nature by portraying the shifting lines between the natural landscape and industrialization as insistent forces in harmony and conflict. Concurrent with the potential of technology to preserve and devastate, is a steady increase of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and extreme temperatures, as reported by the United Nation. Where Nature Ends examines these forces through disparate materials and techniques by contrasting the overwhelming power of nature, with its potential for inherent beauty and transcendence.
Kodama (spirit of the tree) is an exhibition examining the relationships between human beings and nature featuring work by Sophia Chizuco, Kurt Steger, Paulapart and featuring a performance with Zoë Galle (dancer). For Kodama, artists will create a landscape through a combination of sculpture, sound and a performance to question how humans engage with nature and how nature responds to our behavior. The curator’s Japanese heritage led to an interest in Kodama, a compound of the Japanese words for tree (ko) and spirit (dama). By tradition, spirits inhabit old trees. If one attempts to cut it down, he would become cursed according to Japanese folklore. The phenomenon known as yamabiko, when sounds make a delayed echoing effect in mountains and valleys, is sometimes attributed to this kind of spirit, and may also be referred to as kodama.
The Cluster Gallery is pleased to present Mindful Practices, a two person exhibition of mixed media collages by Susan Newmark, and crocheted wall hangings and sculpture from plastic bags by Antonia Perez. In the tradition of artists choosing artists for exhibitions, Newmark has “long sensed an affinity with Perez as they work in a common additive process and practice a meditative mindful approach to art making. “Mindfulness”, as defined by the neurologist John Kabat-Zinn, “is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the moment, non-judgmentally… it is about knowing what is in your mind”.