Entanglements is an exhibition of recent work by three Savannah-based and three Atlanta-based artists whose formal and conceptual considerations are rooted in exploring complex social structures, relationships, and ecosystems. Working in a variety of media—painting, drawing, installation, and sculpture, including fibers and ceramics—each artist’s creative practice tracks, teases out, intuits, or otherwise systematizes observations about order and disorder, and perhaps all of the entanglements in between. Their formal decisions serve as conceptual metaphors for the tensions that can be found embedded, or deeply layered, within ourselves, our habits and practices, our cultural assumptions and interactions with others, and our interconnected relationship with the natural environment. The artists’ abstract mapping—in sinuous line work, dense and knotty gestural marks, and expansive and murky spaces—draw numerous connections to urgent and socio-political concerns, such as the impact of environmentalism and the power of personal narrative, while evoking notions of internal conflict and harmony. Many pieces are experimentations in materiality and range from the highly synthetic to the purely organic, sometimes merging both. As such, some works serve to question material dependencies and entire ecosystems, while others engender questions about cultural expectations. And all address the dynamism, associations, and energy of materials and process.
Suzanne Jackson’s layered, assembled or structured dimensional surfaces interweave nature and body, real experience with material significance. Sonya Yong James’ and Liz Sargent’s fibers-based practices connect to haptic, sculptural traditions, calling attention to the energy and entropy of materials as active and experimental, intertwined with nature. Sharon Norwood plays on tropes of historic and domestic narratives, and challenges what is considered decorative in her thought-provoking and playful use of ceramic. Jiha Moon’s pop-gestural layers swirl and wend, questioning cultural assumptions of authenticity and confronting misunderstanding. The work of Pam Longobardi, inspired by and created from found plastic detritus, calls immediate attention to a critical stewardship of our environment on a worldwide scale. Entanglements approaches an idea Longobardi often explores, that “not only is no person an island, no island is an island,” and emphasizes the strength of the bonds that can tie us together in this realization.