September 14 – October 19, 2008
There are locations in this world that have accumulated a reputation for existing outside the normal experience of a place. Whether through legend, rumor or fear, they are perceived to be an exchange point between the world of the senses and the extrasensory. These are the spaces claimed by no one, such as: the crossroads whose center belongs to no direction; the hedge, straddling the boundary of the tamed garden and the wilderness; and the threshold, holding the house from the greater world. In this exhibition, Between Worlds, the artists follow their curiosity into these amorphous realms that put our nerves on edge—existing on the boundaries of the known and unknown—and give us their vision of what they find there.
The crossroads is a place of choices and the fate inherent in those choices. Alyssa Taylor Wendt, clues us to who may be following as we travel along. Red Riding Hood had to face consequences for exploring and talking to strangers, but this time our heroine may be protected with a charm, and avoid a corrupting fate. Brooke Rogers’ pilgrim also symbolizes the adventures of the journey; the physical journey of life or the interior journey of the soul. Marianne McCarthy alludes that some places would be better avoided. Sebastian Lemm gives us a glimpse of the other side of the gleaming city, the Oz or the humbug that entices or fools when we reach our destination.
The wasteland beyond the hedge that separates the wild from the tamed is also a place of superstition. Maureen Foster gives us a peek through the topiary at the savagery crouched behind what we believe is tame. Kikuko Tanaka proffers a beastly scene that may entice or repulse, but will not let us avert our eyes, despite parental warnings. While Yiftach Belsky cautions that malicious forces can be monitoring us as we continue on our way unaware.
The threshold is the division between the haven of our home and the dangers of the great outside world. It is in our best interests to protect this most vulnerable spot from the insanity Richard Metz imagines lying in wait. Anthony Santella enshrines a malocchio which protects the home by reflecting evil back onto itself, confusing it so that it can be conquered and expunged before becoming a true threat.
Some of the artists in this exhibition took a more pragmatic approach to the theme. Yvonne Kleiman builds up layers of pigment, then scratches and gouges through to expose glimpses of what’s underneath. Joan Mellon contemplates dual universes with her juxtaposed blocks of color. While Jamie Marie Waelchli attempts to makes sense of the chaotic, untidy world we live in by creating maps and diagrams to keep things in order. Like lifting a veil, we get to see parts of her whole, but the lowered veil only reveals a hazy view of the entirety. This inability to ever actually see in sharp focus what is going on makes the mystery of the piece its subject.
Ultimately, the adventure of the journey lies not in the straight and narrow or the tried and true. The adventure lies in deviating from those paths and facing the fears that lurk in the shadows. Each of the artists in Between Worlds has cut their own path and in exploring the mysterious places in between has been given and shares their gift of growth and understanding.