Friday, March 23, 2012

ROQ LA RUE: Red Current (Sweet Fruit)

I arrive at Roq la Rue in Belltown to find the sidewalk in front of the gallery overflowing with people. Inside, a solid mass of artists and art enthusiasts have filled the modest space from wall to wall for the newest installation: "Red Current (Sweet Fruit)." Curated by Sharon Arnold, the show features innovative and insprational work from thirty-seven local Northwest artists.

CURRENT [kur-uhnt, kuhr-]

1. Belonging to the present time; being in progress now
2. Passing from one to another, circulationg
3. Prevalent, especially at the present time
4. Running, flowing

1.A steady, smooth, onward movement
2. A general tendency, movement, or course
"Red Current" @ Roq la Rue
3. A flow of electric charge

There are so many pieces, and so many people, entering the gallery is almost like stepping through the door into a living, breathing dimension where colour is hyper-saturated, everyday items are made of strange materials, and normal objects appear much larger than life. Surrounded on all sides by a pulsing throng of humanity and creativity, I spot a piece by an artist I recognise and an elusive opening in the crowd, and I take a determined plunge.

Allyce Wood has transformed a section of wall into an intricate organic thicket of dark vines and delicate silvery leaves. Her medium is hand cut paper, and silk screen on vellum. A little farther down the wall is a dual donut spectacular by Claire Johnson. Each of the four pastries is larger than my head, and they look so delicious, I'm tempted to forget that they're painted on wood.

Claire Johnson, "Sprinkles White/Chocolate" &
"Double Glazed" @ Roq la Rue
Allyce Wood, "Entwined Competitors" @ Roq la Rue

A few of my favourite pieces in the show explore the notion of metamorphosis. Naomi Faith Smith has sculpted a set of white chocolate jewelry designed to gradually melt as it is exposed to body heat. Naomi's chocolate collection explores the "Comfort Zone," a temperature range in which many forms of life thrive including bacteria, viruses and parasites. Objects in the "Comfort Zone" are transformed by heat and exposure into oozing, leaking secretions, a process that mirrors the degeneration of human flesh as we age and eventually decompose.

Another artist whose work explores organic change and growth is Francesca Lohmann. To create her "Manual Growth" pieces, Francesca repeatedly pierces the surface of handmade paper with a needle and beeswax. The edges of the tiny punctures pucker, coalescing into larger growths and bulges.

Naomi Faith Smith, "HEAT: The White Chocolate Collection" @ Roq la Rue
Francesca Lohmann, "Manual Growth Series" @ Roq la Rue

Deborah Baxter's alabster, quartz and amethyst gun holster, and Klara Glosova's porcelain panties are inventive interpretations of ordinary objects made extraordinary.

Deborah Baxter, "From the Hip" @ Roq la Rue
Other "Red Current" featured artists:

Klara Glosova, "In Your Dreams" @ Roq la Rue
Julie Alpert
Crystal Barbre
Gretchen Bennett
Gala Bent
Anne Blackburn
Susanna Bluhm
Jennifer Borges Foster   
Bette Burgoyne
Saskia Delores
Cristin Ford
Erin Frost
Ellen Garvens 
Izzie Klingels
Rumi Koshino
Counsel Langley
Allie Manch
Amanda Manitach
Jennifer McNeely
Emily Pothast
Kristen Ramirez
Jess Rees
Stacey Rozich
Serrah Russell
Deborah Scott
Erin Shafkind
Lynda Sherman     
Kimberly Trowbridge
Laura Ward
Andrea Wicklund
Jennifer Zwick

The only down-side of the "Red Current" show is that it ends so soon; this display will only be up through April 7th. Roq la Rue will have a new show opening on April 13th featuring the works of Lindsey Carr and Handiedan. But until then, enjoy Mandy Greer's beatifully creepy "Pelican Goddess" that ushers gallery walkers from the whimsical world of "Red Current" back to real life.

Mandy Greer, "Pelican Goddess" @ Roq la Rue
Support your local art scene!


~ BCDuncan

No comments:

Post a Comment