More than two thousand smooth muslin and wax-covered pods comprise the installation you see here—the result of countless hours of careful crafting by artist, Lorrie Fredette, who insists on creating each of these delicate elements by hand as unique objects, in and of themselves. Together, they comprise a cluster – its inspiration by nothing less deadly than the smallpox virus that ravaged millions. How long does it take to create a work of art? How quickly can an innocent population be decimated by illness? Time slows down to a near standstill as Fredette, operating in the space between poetry and activism, asks us to contemplate the impressive enormity of forces of nature beyond our control.

Partly translucent, partly opaque, these pods grab little luminous moments out of the air (even as they gently bump in its currents). Nature has a way of showing us its power when we make ourselves still enough to see: its systems, structures, and ultimately, its ability to teach us how to live more in harmony with it, even as we seek to move ahead as a species. Could we solve the Zika virus, Ebola, Malaria, or Cholera if we worked together, in aggregates of talent and funding? Could we eradicate the HIV/AIDS pandemic? Working together is far better than suffering alone. There is beauty in every small, quiet effort.

Lorrie Fredette lives and works in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York. She has long been inspired by medical science and microscopic imagery, which she expresses across a variety of different mediums. This exhibition marks her third unique iteration of The Great Silence and it will be the most significant manifestation of it to date.

Sheila Goloborotko, 2017

Museum of Contemporary Art

University of North Florida

Jacksonville, FL

April 8September 10, 2017