“Observed Transcendence” at the Stairwell Gallery August 2017
I had a solo show titled “Observed Transcendence”, which was curated by Cornelia van Voorst. On display was a combination of mixed media observational drawings and paintings of plant life in various cycles of growth and decay. As well there were a few pieces from the “Transformations”, “Bounty” and “Small Wonders” series.
The Stairwell Gallery is a space devoted to the visual arts in St Philip Anglican Church. The gallery is open for viewing Monday to Friday 9am to noon and by appointment. The “sacred” includes all of life; art is a means of comprehending that sacredness. Art that is shown does not need to be specifically religious, it is a sincere response to life and our experience of being human. Art is also hosted in the church sanctuary which has high ceilings and tall walls-invaluable for large scale work. The building is simple, modernist and is graced by extraordinary stained glass. Read more about the art at the stairwell gallery blog and on facebook.
STATEMENT - JILL EHLERT
The body of work in the "Stairwell Gallery" and Sanctuary explore stages of the Life Cycle. "Birth - Growth - Maturity - Decay - Death - Renewal" - I am fascinated by the series of changes and transformations that an organism undergoes as it returns to the starting state.
The six drawings at the bottom of the stairwell are an exploration into the later stages of maturity and decay. Shrivelled forms of a day lily…the decaying structure of a Hosta leaf…the beautiful form of the poppy capsule -full of seeds ready for renewal.
The two triptychs in the “Sanctuary” are part of a series titled "Transformations". In the Transformations series, I drew from objects existing in the natural and manufactured world as a means to direct the animated forms of my imagination. I combined dissimilar objects such as pomegranates, plankton, decorative curtain tassels, the inner ear and the mechanical structure of a potato masher. These forms were simplified into smaller components through a process of drawing, editing and refining. I intermixed these unlikely combinations, creating an invented language of organic shapes.
The work on the right hand side of the stairwell and the little painted pieces on the bulletin board are invented idiosyncratic shapes inspired from those found within my "Transformations" series - keeping in mind natural forms and stages of birth and growth.
Studies on the bulletin board show my ongoing interest in botanical studies, the structure and stages of plant life.