‘Excavations’ on view at Concord gallery

Work on display by artist Cody Tamaian

Work on display by artist Cody Tamaian Courtesy

Work on display by artist Jonathan Mess

Work on display by artist Jonathan Mess Courtesy

Published: 03-12-2024 8:05 PM

PILLAR Gallery + Projects is a new exhibition space in Concord, NH. Their third exhibition, Excavations, is on view through March 22.

PILLAR Gallery + Projects third exhibition, Excavations, presents themes of geological time and forms, slower paced growth and erosion, and our relation to our surroundings. Artists Include Jonathan Mess, Julie Hamel, Shino Takeda, Debra Claffey, Cody Tamaian, Ann Kinne, Victoria Elbroch and Al Jaeger.

Media features ceramics installation and vessels, with experimental photographic work, mixed media encaustic, and printmaking. The works focus on concepts of earth and soil, such as wood fired ceramics, long-exposure observations of nature, etchings of root systems, and sculpture that replicates geological processes and strata.

Jonathan Mess works experimentally with reclaimed ceramics. Layering different types of found clay and playing with a variety of materials, the sculptures create geological-like strata, fissures and valleys. Julie Hamel is a multidisciplinary maker working with photographic media that speaks of loss and memory. Working with long exposure and pin-hole cameras left in wooded areas, she uses what’s found in nature to highlight the distance in human interactions, she marks the importance of connections and the emotional effects of separation.

Shino Takeda hand builds and works with several different clay bodies. Growing up in Kyushu Island in southern Japan and currently residing in Brooklyn, NY she woodfires upstate and does a second silver firing in Nichigetsugama, Japan. She continually searches for “perfect imperfections” in her works, evoking ideas of wabi-sabi. Her inspirations stem from the natural world and a sense of her interior self. Cody Tamaian’s wood-fired ceramic vessels, with their eroded and craggy surfaces, explore a collaboration with uncertainty, and the power of ambiguity. To accomplish this he pushes the limits of both himself and the materials he interacts with. Included work is the result of a five-day wood firing. Al Jaeger is inspired by the land that he has conserved, lived and worked on for the past half-century. In his wood-fired ceramic works, he harvests and incorporates found materials from the surrounding fields and forests including sand, gravel, feldspar, and coffee grounds.

Debra Claffey focuses on the plant world and the assaults on the soil, biodiversity of plant species, and the protection of native flora in her art. Working in encaustic and mixed media, the texture and surfaces of the works included seem like fossilized plants trapped in stone. Ann Kinne works with wood, metal and found objects. Their jewelry work preserves and brings out the best qualities of simple unassuming objects, including excavated tools. Victoria Elbroch creates drawings, etching and paintings of ancient trees, sometimes as large, isolated portraits and sometimes buried in the enduring landscape. The portraits are detailed renderings celebrating all the gnarly protrusions, textures, and anomalies of bark and root systems.

PILLAR Gallery + Projects was founded by Mike Howat and Fallon Rae last Fall 2023 in Concord, NH. With their third exhibition underway their goal is to merge a range of artistic voices in various career stages from the Northeast and beyond.

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