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Strata - Exhibition at Skulpturens Hus

Stockholm, Sweden 


3 Terracotta sculptures and 3 industrial rugs printed by Golden Star Inc. of my own design

Knots marks the culmination of several years of work on the subject of constructed landscapes and features three life-size shrubs made in clay. Hundreds of ceramic petals and flowers cover each object. A variety of geometric patterns, inspired by eighteenth-century garden plans, adorn the industrial rugs. A dense network of associations results from the fact that the garden is a rich metaphor, with a long tradition. I was interested, for one, in literary and design traditions that employ convoluted geometry to suggest romantic entanglements.

In their distinct designs each of the rugs offer different experiences of the landscape, necessarily a site where nature and culture intersect (e.g., M. Warnke). The abstracted bushes that punctuate the center of each pattern draw attention to how nature acts as a prop, often at the service of a human fantasy. How gardens serve as vehicles for and objects of desire, from the regimented cosmological order envisioned in neo-Classical gardens to the unadulterated wilderness imagined in many American gardens, stands as a central concern of this work.

The tongue-like forms of the Rosebud Bush explore another tradition, the garden of earthly delights. Growing out of medieval moralizations of the Temptation of Adam and Eve in Paradise, this tradition conflates the erotic, the natural, and the forbidden. The centrifugal forms of the rug and sculpture present a visual allegory of the loss of innocence implicit in this declension narrative, which continues to exert influence on our cultural imagination.

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