many small gestures

The Corner Gallery

at the Jessie Ball DuPont Center

February 12–May 4, 2022

Opening: February 12, 5 – 9 pm

The exhibition is presented by Moving the Margins, a project underwritten by a grant from the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund that provides every artist-in-residence an equitable stipend, materials costs, and three months to collaborate and create a responsive art installation born from their engaging cohort conversations and each artist’s own rich, lived experiences.

40 E Adams St, Jacksonville, FL 32202

A fence of grass that rolls along the ground; shiny coral florets that hang in mid-air; pyramids composed of senseless words; and drifting above our heads, a tsunami of repurposed coffee cups, held together with glue. Truth be told: the cups are Styrofoam (un-recyclable); the grass is Astroturf; the coral, aluminum. Yet this uncanny mix of man-made objects might well offer us a strong and subtle lesson, telling us it’s not too late to heal the planet and ourselves.

For years, I have found answers to life’s difficult questions—our rapidly heating planet, the mismanagement of the health care system, among them—not through literal means, but by engaging deeply with unusual materials. I combine them into new forms that are at once unique and Universal, shaping and re-shaping these tactile elements until I tease out what the material wants to say.

For instance, I examined my own medicine cabinet and came up with the pill shapes you see here. Of course, the notion that a single pill – a cure for Anger, a supplement for Patience—could eradicate severe deficits is absurd; yet, isn’t half the road to recovery an awareness of what really ails us? A fence my neighbor built inspired me to create a flimsy, seemingly endless fence of fake grass – how absurd it is to think we can put boundaries on the Earth in the first place! And a local sign shop’s cast-off letters helped me make unusual forms out of the chaos of chatter around us.

So, as you walk through this garden of disbelief, notice how one tactile sensory experience juxtaposes with another; how the unexpected (jumbled letters? floating waves?) also coalesces into formal harmonies.

In Nature, change is the most reliable constant; decay and life, the brutal and the beautiful, learn to co-exist. What’s the lesson? Nature is always adapting, finding new solutions. No one gesture that we humans make can ever fix the past; but it is certain that, as in Nature, many small gestures can bring about lasting change.