Artist Monica Wyatt’s Continuum is a beautiful, dream-like show opening at MOAH: Cedar this Saturday. The exhibition, which runs through March 3rd, was curated by Jill Moniz. Wyatt calls Moniz an inspiring collaborator; much of the work here has been created specifically for the installation or never before exhibited.
“Jill encouraged me to be expansive and bold in my creating, all the while furthering the visual dialogue about lifecycles, sustainability, new beginnings,” Wyatt asserts. “Continuum is definitely an outgrowth of my previous work. One of the three spaces I’m using at MOAH: Cedar contains my first big site-specific installation. I knew I wanted to push myself to work large scale and the making of this installation, called When Shadows Chase the Light ,was both thrilling and terrifying. I’ve been creating it in segments over the last five months and never saw it as a whole until yesterday. And it took seven of us to install,” she exclaims.
When Shadows Chase the Light contains 4000 acrylic globes, 10,000 nylon hairnets, 23 industrial light lenses, fishing wire and lighting, all manmade materials that “look like a huge and mesmerizing organic, biomorphic form,” according to Wyatt. “By using synthetic materials to represent the organic, I’m trying to represent the increasingly complex interconnections that bind people to nature and technology.”
Moniz calls Wyatt “an artistic alchemist, collecting materials and turning them into precious objects. In this process, she fuses the history of disparate materials to create new beginnings, representing the cyclic nature of all things.”
Terming Continuum Wyatt’s three-dimensional expression of love, death and creativity, Moniz notes that Wyatt pursues themes and compositions that encompass her passion for her materials and the ways in which she infuses them with life and meaning.
Reworking materials, disassembling, and reimagining them, Wyatt uses both organic and manmade materials, creating a unique vision that connects man and nature.
“A couple years ago, I made a series of wood and rock assemblages called San Andreas Variations. With the indispensable help of Ron Therrio, I created five larger scale wood and granite rock sculptures that I’ll be unveiling, too,” Wyatt attests.
She adds “A lot of my newer work has become more sculptural, no longer rooted in a box. Working towards this show has given me the space and mindset to play more purposefully with volume and large scale composition. It’s not so much exploring the history of the objects in a different way, but visually expanding on themes that interest me such as the daily markers of family, nature, and life cycles.” Inspired by her father, a physicist-inventor, Wyatt strives to bring her imagination to life, reshaping different materials to create a piece with its own fresh identity.
“I’m using organ and piano pieces, marbles, beads, nails, wire, crystal orbs, acrylic globes, nylon hairnets, wood, and so much more. I’m also transforming tens of thousands of capacitors into sculpture. I’ve never worked before this show with acrylic globes and nylon hairnets, so that’s been an engrossing and fascinating challenge.”
Wyatt says “My assemblage is embedded with not only the histories of the materials, but also my own stories, and those of the viewer. I think my love for materials is the poetic element that’s apparent in my work. When the fragments and small bits come together as a seamless whole, there’s a sort of magic that happens and the piece becomes something more than the sum of its parts.”
Wyatt has a background as an English major, and her love of words is especially evident in the title of her works. “I never title a piece until it’s finished and really labor over finding a title that works. And if I don’t mess it up too badly, a poetic object is matched with a fitting title.”
As to the title of the exhibition, Continuum is a perfect fit: according to the Cambridge dictionary, it is something that changes gradually in character or in slight stages without clear points of division. For Wyatt, mere objects become something magical, even mythical — art.
- Genie Davis; photos provided by the artist