“Creatures” Exhibition

Olsen Gruin

poster for “Creatures” Exhibition

This event has ended.

Olsen Gruin presents Creatures, a vibrant summer group exhibition comprising artworks by 19 distinct artists. The works in the exhibition, ranging from painting, to sculpture, installation, drawing and photography, conjure the lush spirit of summer. Nature and colorful beings are brought to life. As the viewer traverses the display, a fresh embodiment of vitality is revealed. Exhibiting artists include Noa Ain, Alberto Borea, C.J. Chueca, Ben Dos Remedios, Caio Fonseca, Juan Fontanive, Dale Frank, Leila Jeffreys, Ken Sisters’ Collaborative, Norma Markley, Joseph McGlennon, Mitakiki Women’s Collaborative, Keelin Montzingo, Barbara Moore, Stephen Ormandy, Marisa Purcell, Tariku Shiferaw, Peter Vandermark, and Yaritji Young.

Crafted as an effervescent spectacle, Creatures, cultivates organic beauty through the artificial. Several artists featured in Creatures express an interest in the role of the beholder and their experience of the natural world. Joseph McGlennon’s series Florilegium is the culmination of a practice conjuring the sublime. McGlennon’s photographs feature collage-style and digitally enhanced layers to produce remarkably detailed imagery that is representative of rich landscapes. Creatures also features work by Aboriginal artist, Yaritji Young, of Australia’s central desert region. Her paintings tell the dreaming story of the honey ant; an internal landscape of the fruitful riches underground, “My paintings are of my country: my father’s country, my grandmother’s country, the Tjala country. Everything that my grandmother taught me, I’m teaching to my grandchildren now. They dance because I have shared what I got from my grandmother with my granddaughters, so they can know their culture.” C.J. Chueca’s River installation draws viewers into a mystical terrain where ethereal visions of flowing water are born of handmade ceramic rocks and potatoes of the artist’s native Peru.

Through skillful interpretations of manipulating the biotic, Creatures contemplates the synchronicity of living and being in Earth’s dynamic environment. Ben Dos Remedios’ work mirrors the juxtaposition of light and dark through a combination of painting, drawing, and abstraction to create highly contrasted images of flowers and plants.

Juan Fontanive’s piece, Ornithology M, chronicles the flight of a hummingbird conjured from antique ecological books. This intimate and hypnotizing sculpture inspired by the artist’s experiments with antique clock gears removes viewers, for a moment, from the ordinary rhythm of daily life. In a similar beat, Leila Jeffreys captures the quintessential harmony of a bird’s gaze through her photography. Each image showcases the distinct character and relationship of the muse, the bird, with its artist, Jeffreys.

Renowned experimental artist Dale Frank is consistently interested in personification and identity. The large, colorful wall pieces, are composed of Epoxyglass on Perspex with additional nontraditional materials. Their reflective surface, as well as their narrative titles, set a biomorphic stage for an empathetic relationship between artist and artwork. Marisa Purcell introduces abstraction as a conduit for the unknown when language is silenced. Her works lure in viewers to question their notion of perception through a rich array of colors. Each of her creations is its own universe reflecting a rendering of the experience of the spiritual realm.

Rounding out the exhibition are paintings by additional Aboriginal artists including the Mitakiki Women’s Collaborative. Showcased in the exhibit is the Seven Sisters Story. This is a Tjukurpa Story (Creation Story) about the constellations of Pleiades and Orion. The seven sisters, Pleiades, travel again and again from the sky to the earth to escape Nyiru’s, Orion, unwanted attentions. They turn into their human form to escape from the persistent Nyiru, but he always finds them and they flee back to the sky. Every now and again, though, one of the women falls victim to his ways. Eventually the sisters fly back into the sky to escape Nyiru, reforming the constellation. The painting blends the mystic and the natural to express human interpretation with the unknown.

In this illuminating display of artistry with nature and the metaphysical, numerous infinities are created to illustrate the essence of a single, living being.


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