Ascent to Air, Descent to Soil
The four pieces in this multi-disciplinary show deal with the human spiritual connection to the air and the earth. The material elements of these pieces reflect their underlying concepts.
Jen Huber’s untitled sculptural piece is a glass-less window hanging suspended in space, tilted upwards as if being raised. It floats seemingly unaided, its surrounding space and the empty glass panes alluding to air. The natural wood material of the frame references the earth, while the act of physically raising the object (a found object, previously abandoned) references ascension.
Charlette Hove’s untitled painting shows the hint of dead figures, ascending into the afterlife just as they are engulfed by the rich earth around them. Her use of hand-made shellac, a material derived from beetle shells, furthers the idea of decomposition, insects, death and rebirth. The use of gold, traditionally an indication of heavenly light, indicates the presence of a higher power or paradise in the upper part of the painting.
Scott Clifford’s silent film, Lunch, is a multilayered ode to the element of earth. An unnamed protagonist journeys silently through both the urban mundane and the sublime outdoors. He walks through a sunlit wood as if lost. He connects with the essence of soil by taking a fistful of dirt in his hand, rife with moving worms, and contemplates mortality. He creates a painting, in the industrial setting of an art studio, using the raw material of the earth (soil) and hangs it under soft gallery lights. The film ends with the character’s satisfaction, as he enjoys eating a dubious-looking hamburger back in the cozy fortress of the forest. The painting featured in the film (a work created by the illustrator Chris Visco) stands in for the “materiality” of the film. It both represents and is the earth, literally soil spread onto a canvas. In the film, this painting is the key to the character’s own “ascension” into nature from the confines of his urban environment.
Kate Perkins’ (that’s me) “cave drawings” are created with natural materials (tea, charcoal) and reference the subterranean with their subject matter.
The installation of the mini-show utilized the studio detritus of Jen Huber (tools, dirt, wood, and stones) to further the theme of human connection to the elements.
Artists & Departments
Jen Huber – Painting
Charlette Hove – Multidisciplinary
Scott Clifford – Writing for Film and Television
Chris Visco - Illustration
Kate Perkins - Painting