Join the large number of enthusiastic local and out-of-town visitors who have already enjoyed “Down To The Bone” at SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts, on display daily, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., throughout the holiday weekend and Monday, July 4.
This highly applauded two-person exhibit continues through July 31, featuring 24 uniquely creative sculptures by Colorado artists Chris Haas and Amy K. Wendland.
By combining found objects and natural materials, Haas and Wendland get “Down To the Bone,” breathing new life into the previously abandoned and long forgotten, and creating a vibrant new world without rules.
These artworks are intended to attract and disquiet. To seduce and repel. To bring harmony and imbalance. They are foreign and odd, yet curiously familiar.
Using wood, bone, hair, dried plants and discarded mechanical parts, Wendland enters into a dialog of discovery and recognition, addressing human foibles and fears with humor and integrity.
Incorporating mixed media, Haas infuses a mystical aura into reclaimed animal skulls, meticulously reanimating them back into a different dimension and character.
By combining materials that “have no business being together,” Wendland tries to make the result look as though it had “evolved spontaneously, free from artificiality or affection.
“The work must look inevitable to be convincing”, she states.
“All media, found or natural, have inherent qualities that demand respectful treatment. Each substance requires different handling and finishing techniques to showcase its particular characteristics.
“The process of making work is sensual in the truest definition of the word: it is intensely physical, relating to and affecting the senses,” continues Wendland.
“Walnut dust smells sweet and darkly smoky; the wood finishes to a moody, melancholic richness. Ground bone stinks horribly, yet yields a softly glowing mottled ivory that feels buttery smooth in the hand.
“I engage in a dialog with the materials, trading careful treatment and fine craftsmanship for the right to let the media voice my ideas.”
Wendland begins each piece with the process of discovery and recognition.
“Sometimes I have sudden ideas or revelations. Other times ideas slowly unfold, transforming in form and voice.
“No matter the source, I know to pursue an idea when I have a feeling of recognition, clearly sensing the validity and rightness of the idea.”
Most of Wendland’s work centers on human foibles and fears.
“I confront heavy issues in a lighthearted manner, using humor to point out the droll and occasionally farcical nature of our existence.
“My goal is to create work that with humor and integrity reflects an understanding of what I see and feel. Artworks act as cairns marking a journey through the fears, curiosities and pleasures of life.
“A piece is complete when the viewer and I pause together on that path in an act of joint pleasure and understanding”, she concludes.
Wendland currently serves as an associate professor in the art department at Fort Lewis College in Durango.
Additional information about Haas and Wendland will appear in future PREVIEW articles.
SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts is located at 333 Bastille Drive; two blocks north of U.S. 160, off of North Pagosa Boulevard, west of the City Market complex.
For more information on SHY RABBIT, visit www.shyrabbit.com or call 731-2766.
SHY RABBIT is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 4: p.m. at no charge, and evenings by appointment. Ample parking is available in front of the building.
For more information on SHY RABBIT,visit www.shyrabbit.com or call 731-2766.