“Into the Thicket” is an interactive art exhibit featuring many solo and combined art installations created by artists Jennifer Gunlock, Hilary Norcliffe and Katie Stubblefield.
The exhibit opened Jan. 21 and will remain open until March 26 inside the W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery.
On Feb. 1, the Kellogg Art Gallery held an artists’ reception from 2-5 p.m. The reception was free for all to attend, and appetizers and drinks were also provided.
Guests could interact with the artists while observing their artwork. Stubblefield’s “Lurch” exhibit from the Bramble series of 2018 involves an interactive pet on a leash that guests can walk.
“Lurch” is made of tree root, plastic, umbrella ribs, metal hardware and casters. Below its informational tag is a sign that reads: “Please walk me daily.”
“I grew up in the woods, and when it rained in the woods you realized how small you were and how powerful and wonderful nature was,” Stubblefield said. “You can really be one with nature and realize your real place with nature, and it’s a memory that I hold dear.”
Throughout the installation, guests are reminded that wood is nature’s oldest gift to humankind. Each piece uses wood in unique ways to symbolize how important this gift is in nature.
In the middle of the gallery is a beautifully detailed piece that received lots of attention from guests as they walked by. Norcliffe’s “River Run – Expecto Patronus” could be looked at from every angle and guests could find something new hidden within the branches.
“River Run” was made from found branches, an abandoned Christmas deer made of wood and basket reeds. Within the piece itself were several other artworks like “Wicked Witch of the West” and “Gone Deep Tree Diving.”
“Knowing that we were dealing with nature and trees and forests and things, my mind went to fairy tales and some dark fairy tales as well because they always have a good forest in them. So I decided that maybe my point of view was going to become the forest or the tree in the story,” Norcliffe said.
Some pieces that were displayed showed humankind’s presence in nature, the impact we have and the capability nature has to adapt.
Gunlock’s “Urban Interface” is a mixed-media paper collage and drawing on 18 sheets of rag paper. This collage takes up an entire wall at the front of the gallery.
“My work is about Western human relationships with nature, and how there’s this tendency to try to dominate and domesticize nature. So a piece like this, is like there is this wild tree and it’s domesticized. It’s as if civilization had built it or it grew itself and they post themselves on top of it.”
Working together has allowed each artist to utilize her individual skill set and create something wonderful. “Into the Thicket” is a world of nature and fantasy that is being featured at Cal Poly Pomona for a short time and should not be missed.
The gallery is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, and from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, and is closed on Fridays.
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