Whole Life Magazine

October / November 2018

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Page 21 of 31

CULTIVATING AROUSAL I t would be hard to imagine a more spiritual and powerful series of works than those featured in Ceramic Sculpture in Three Installations at South Bay Contemporary's SoLA Gallery through October 27th. Curated by Peggy Sivert Zask, the exhi- bition features the work of three different artists, each working in ceramic clay. Each artist utilizes a third of the gallery space, ex- ploring different ar- tistic perspectives. Tracey Weiss uses repurposed plastic waste prod- ucts as well as ceramic clay, ex- ploring the impact that disposable plastic has on our ecosystem and on life itself. Here she creates a stunning series of faux ar- chaeological fi nds – bones and fossils of beings that have mutated from the impact of plastic in the environment. She's imagined a future that seems all too possible, one in which the fossils of living creatures are embed- ded with plastics. We see turtle skeletons wrapped in green plastic wire, a crab whose body has absorbed the plastic so that it has become his frame, spinal bones shooting out delicate fi l- aments of plastic, human vertebrae enmeshed in fi shing lines. Weiss has shaped a gorgeous yet terrifying view of the waste and destruction man has made possible. Adesina Cooper takes a different turn with her audaciously internal works. Using pyramids, she symbolically shapes sculp- tural forms that represent growth, healing, and reshaping. The quality and essence of forgiveness arise from these shapes: Cooper's installation is titled Forgiveness Without Revenge. On one wall of her exhibition space, Cooper writes "True forgive- ness is without expectation, because it's not about power, but freedom." She references "unfulfi lled memories and expecta- tions of absent familial fi gures." One incredible piece places a bust representing the artist's father underwater with fi sh swim- ming past it. Magical and mysterious pyramids are entwined with the twisted roots of trees, or joined together as vibrant- ly colored tiles featuring images of jelly fi sh and sand. It is an other-worldly look at the heart of human emotion, intimacy, and hope. It is the human spirit that rests at the heart of work by Carolyn Laliberte, who has shaped 102 suspended, delicate, seemingly fl oating ceramic boats. Some have fi gures embedded in them; others have words written along the hull. Her graceful installa- tion is also interactive: The artist encourages viewers to write a single word on a piece of paper, a word that inspires one to "create a more loving world." Once written, the word is rolled tightly and tied with red thread, then placed in an opening with- in slotted netting, next to a nearly life-size, multi-faced being. Boats and human fi gures are all connected, on a path, fl oating through life and beyond it. As the artist says, "We are all the same, human beings, who come into this world with nothing and leave with nothing." The immersive exhibition is beautifully curated, each artist's work stunningly unique, yet of one profound piece; culled from the spirit and arisen from the earth itself. Viewers are being called here to recognize and repudiate waste, support our planet, embrace our own hearts, hear our own thoughts, and fi nd succor within our own spirits. SoLA Gallery is located at 3718 W. Slauson Ave. in mid-city. For info, southbaycontemporary.org CULTIVATING AROUSAL CERAMIC SCULPTURES OFFER A PORTAL TO A BETTER WORLD By Genie Davis creativity Purpose and Repurpose Photo far left: Adesina Cooper, Photo bottom right: Carolyn Laliberte and Tracey Weiss, Photo top right: Carolyn Laliberte 22 wholelifetimes.com

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