Friday, October 29, 2010

Caroline Bagenal: House of Words

As I walked through the gallery and entered the rear, I immediately stopped and was taken aback by what I saw. Caroline Bagenal’s large scale House of Words stopped me in my tracks. I went in expecting to see some sculptures placed on the wall or on pedestals that I could walk by and look at. However, this is not what I got. Bagenal’s latest sculpture is almost as tall as the gallery ceiling, and actually incorporates one of the columns of the gallery into her project. The sculpture is made of columns of all different sizes covered in newspaper. The newspaper that covers these columns includes art reviews, politics, and crossword puzzles that were actually completed by people, incorporate an authentic hand made(interactive) feeling of the project.

When I saw Bagenal’s installation, it was at its' beginning stages. Bagenal was inspired by meeting houses that she had been to in Mali, Africa called togu na, which translates to House of Words. At the meeting houses people come to rest, converse, teach, and work. These houses are made of wood, earth, have deep thatched roofs, and a few columns. This installation seems only fitting since Bagenal also teaches African Art History locally and occasionally takes students on filed trips to Mali as part of the class.

As work progressed on the project, it was clear that balance is a strong theme of the piece. After all, some of the columns are only held together by newspaper so it is both delicate and sturdy.

Although the onsite build had been stressful, Bagenal seemed very pleased with how the installation was coming together. She initially had a numbering system to help her put the piece together when she got it to the gallery but it was evident that was not going to help much. There were just too many pieces to put together. So instead.....As the work was being constructed, it cast a very interesting shadow on the gallery wall.

Ideally Bagenal wants the viewer to sit on bean bags inside of the piece and be able to look up into the piece. I am definitely going to have to make my way back there to view the finished House of Words. House of Words was on view at Boston Sculptors Gallery through Nov. 7, 2010.
- by Jen Costa, Boston Sculptors Gallery intern

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Julia Shepley: OUT / IN

On my last trip to the gallery, I had the privilege of catching Julia Shepley in the middle of installing her latest show, “OUT/IN.” When I first walked in, I was immediately drawn to the transformation of the gallery environment. The walls, which I last saw painted solid white, had been painted gray in spots to split the front gallery into sections. The gray and white boundaries served as natural frames for the installation, and felt as if they had always meant to be there. Shepley also planned on painting parts of the floor white in order to cast the necessary shadows for the suspended Sky Habitation. It was intriguing to see the use of manipulating an environment to further the artistic experience.

While speaking with Shepley, I was able to delve deeper into the details of her current project. As an artist, Shepley is interested in things that she finds delicate and elusive. She wants things to be viewed as transitory. Take the carved chairs of Sky Habitation, for example, which were meant to be viewed as if they are changing. They are not there as a mere representation of solid objects. They are meant to be pondered as they turn with their shadows ever so slightly with the gently flowing air. With this, Shepley captures a moment of rest, like when a person zones out momentarily, and then snaps back to reality, and in a fleeting second, that feeling is gone. This is some of what she is attempting to recreate. In each of her carved chairs there is also a reference to the person, as well as an association with trees, sky, and architecture.

There are also multiple drawings around the front gallery, some of which she is using cloud, and storm imagery, while some of the others are a beginning of a collaboration she is doing with a Swedish scientist who is studying antibodies.
Shepley sometimes changes the materials she uses in her work, such as wood, resin and glass. However, the one consistency the stays the same is what she is trying to get across.

OUT / IN is on view through Nov. 7. Posted by Boston Sculptors intern Jen Costa.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Two Sculpture Dedications This Month!

Please join Mayor Thomas M. Menino and MBTA General Manager Richard Davey for the dedication of Sleeping Moon, a monumental sculpture by Joseph Wheelwright.
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 26, 4:00 PM (Rain Date October 28, 4:00 PM)
Ashmont Station Plaza, corner of Dorchester Ave and Ashmont Street on the MBTA Red Line in Dorchester, MA. Performance by Boston City Singers. Facilitated by the Urban Arts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Sleeping Moon was co-sponsored by the Dorchester Arts Collaborative, St. Mark’s Area Main Street, the Edward I. Browne Fund of the City of Boston, New England Foundation for the Arts, Trinity Financial and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Artist Laura Baring-Gould and the Friends of Edward Everett Square with the Dorchester Historical Society, Saturday, October 16, 2010, 1pm, Edward Everett Square, Dorchester, MA
Rain Date: Sunday October 24, 2010, 1pm
Ten new bronze artworks – complementing the nearby Clapp’s Favorite Pear – symbolize the rich legacy of aspiration, activism and hope in the experience, voice and history of Dorchester’s people from the first inhabitants to the present.
This project was realized with the support of the following: Grassroots Open Space Program, City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development, The Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund of the City of Boston and the Waste Management Corporation. In cooperation with Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events, Christopher Cook, Acting Director. For more information: and