The exhibition will present the works divided into five distinct segments, themed “The Promise”, “Symbiotic Tango”, “Nature Nurture”, “Beauty is Harsh” and “Look from the Edge”. There is a one-way flow through the spaces. The title, “I Could Have Been a Tree Instead” causes us to question not only the origins of us, but presents us a world wherein nature and man are one – for man could not exist without nature.
The exhibition catalog will be a cookbook from farm to table.
The concept is amplified by educational components that emphasize the urgency of understanding our continued environmental onslaught by our daily carelessness.
Expand each exhibition segment for details on each space and their works.
In “The Promise”, our conversations with the artists begin. This darkened room with shadows cast from a large gilded dead tree suspended from the ceiling contains five golden chairs made of branches centering the room on a mound of black Emperor’s rice. The walls contain a series of recycled and reconstructed paintings jointly created by Beatrix Ost and Michelle Gagliano titled “Dissected Presence.” Nature sounds can be heard in the room along with the scent of roses.
In “Symbiotic Tango” our conversation continues with the path of black rice progressing into this room as it now becomes diluted with bleached white rice. Upon a mound of this mixture of white and black rice five additional gilded children’s chairs made of branches are now askew. Additional objects from nature are scattered about in the rice. Hanging around the space are 5 sets of 9 paintings titled “Symbiotic Tango”. The sets include White, Yellow, Red, Blue and Green.
In this space, “Nature Nurture”, the viewer is presented with a huge installation of Hanging Spheres: 5 various sized ball of twisted vines containing golden objects. Each of these balls are suspended above 5 ceramic bowls that have been broken and then repaired using Kintsugi treatment. A mound of now completely white rice is on the ground. Surrounding the installation is a series of 5 paintings titled “Nature Nurture”.
Beauty is Harsh
The “Beauty is Harsh” space is flanked by two large canvas curtains painted with earth and holding sculptural masks (ceramic faces) and other elements. A table adorns the center of the space made of gilded wood surrounded by 5 bails of hay sitting on a bead of straw. The table contains another ceramic bowl – this one not fully repaired with its cracked pieces falling around it containing a large loaf of fresh baked bread. Text adorns the wall of Beatrix Ost’s “Beauty is Harsh: Thoughts and Ongoing Inspirations.” This room also includes two sets of installations: 1) a set of abstract “plastic” paintings by Michelle Gagliano featuring six beeswax sculptural candles from Beatrix Ost titled “Trickery”, and 2) a set of natural abstract landscape paintings by Michelle Gagliano featuring six bronzed wrapped heads titled “Tyrants”. Other objects are in the space, including a gilded iron anvil with an egg on top, and a metal chair with a hand for the seat.
Look from the Edge
In the final space of the exhibition, “Look from the Edge”, we are presented with a straw goddess sculpture laying supine on a metal cart. The straw figure is rolled in gilded bindings is wearing an iron corset. She is adorned with dried fresh mushrooms. The floor below the goddess sculpture is littered with plastic bottles, syringes, pills and other garbage. In the center of the room is “The Last Tree” – a gilded barren tree surrounded with suspended “nests” made of blown glass filled with natural elements. The room is completed with another series of eight paintings titled “Perpetuity Question“.