September 7 through October 28, 2019
Elijah Wheat Showroom presents a group exhibition of multi-media works from three American artists entitled “Soft Fascination.” These artists create with natural and biological elements at the center of their focus. Coined by the environmental psychologist duo of Kaplan & Kaplan, the title phrase suggests that through “Attention Restoration Therapy (ART)” humans are able to benefit from a subtle focus of nature, opposed to a directed attention with their environment.
By being present within the natural mystery of symmetry, curiosity, and wonder within the wilderness, one is capable of experiencing profound, yet non-grandiose, patterns, shapes, colors, sounds and elements. These elements bring a flow of tranquility without a deliberate focus of health and wellness. And consequently, the prescription for healing is determined to be a subconscious yet awe inspiring product of being unencumbered by the directed attention that the urban and now digital environment requires.
Jolynn Krystosek’s work focuses on a fascination with the natural world. The objects on display range from slip cast porcelain dead flowers and pods to gilded found bones and sea-shells. Together, they create a strange fusion of the natural and the obvious human hand of constructed sculptures. The outcome fuses traditional craftsmanship and botanicals. The temporal nature of the subject matter, coupled with an uncustomary use of a variety of materials, heightens the relationship between the physicality of the works and the viewers’ own corporeality.
Panels of manipulated glass by Heidi Norton stand central in the space. Panes are embedded with cellular detritus, bio-science test-tubes, dying plant life, and preserved organic materials. She states that as “a child of New Age homesteaders in West Virginia, her interests resulted in a strong connection to the land, plant life and nature.” Working from a place of installation and then documenting her ephemeral configurations of living materials, Norton’s photographs have a particular place within the discourse of contemporary photography as she preserves her sculpture to actuate skillful photographic compositions. The textures reveal a painterly display of stagnant foliage, frozen within a second dimension. Working within this plateau, the outcome is multi-dimensional. Norton continues to intrigue with new sculptures and their photographic counterpoints.
The primary materials Erin LaRocque uses to create her living tapestries are made from Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi) Mycelium mushrooms growing to her specifications and acute care. She states that “these self-weaving, collaborative medicinal tapestries are personal gardens to cultivate beneficial compounds that can be consumed to improve one’s health and wellbeing, and sites to provide therapeutic “soft fascination” in an urban ecosystem. We provide resources to help each other survive, and when the tapestry completes its life cycle, its physical remains can be harvested to provide resources for human health, or reserved as an object of compassionate decor.” The gallery and the artist will also collaborate on CBD & Reishi tinctures as a nominally priced take-away from the exhibition. LaRocque presents work that is “informed by science, pseudo-science, aspirational self-help rituals, and fate.” The artist uses mushrooms as agents of decay and simultaneous regeneration. With this medium, LaRocque “sparks conversations about the sustainability of body and the environment, and the futility of trying to maintain youth and good health. These tapestries serve to amuse and console, ask us to experience an alternate reality, contemplate the definition of cooperation, and accept destiny and chance.”
Elijah Wheat Showroom delivers an adaptive, growing display of organic materials alongside sculptures and mark-making derived from once pluming, yet now decaying objects to enjoy as a “Soft Fascination” indoors. Please join us and the artists for an opening reception Saturday, September 7th from 6:00PM to 9:00PM. The show will run through Sunday, October 28th during regular hours, Saturday & Sunday noon-6pm and by appt.