Close your eyes, make a wish, inhale and release a breath. As it hits the burning birthday candle anchored in a pillow of sweet confection, my gust of life forces a flame into eternity. I open my eyes and see slight trail of translucent smoke swirling into nothingness. In that moment I wonder about the wind, the air and its strength to cause change. It is an invisible force we recognize only when it has connected to something.
On November 15, I attended Artist Gail Gilbert’s exhibition Tethered at the Winchester Cultural Center Gallery in Las Vegas. The moment I enter the slice of pie shaped space muted with white walls and silent concrete, a feeling of relief filled my body. I see a gust, I feel the weightlessness and visualize the force of a captured spirit. Surrounded by her 7 tethered but dancing sculptures, Gilbert gleams among conversations of her efforts. “I was a dancer being blown by the the wind and I wanted to make a sculpture of that.” It is clear there is a movement in air and Gilbert’s ideas have landed. Her grounded vibe somehow controls the romanticized vocal expressions. “There is a connection between the weight and the flight. Opposition of that which is heavy and that which is light”. As I listened from a distance I am immediately drawn to Aeoliana.
It’s a made up name used for this centerpiece. Her trunk of natural wood pins the blue linen waves as it raises outward. There is an essence of strength and an action stopped in time. Aeoliana confidently owns the room while basking in the joy of being the center of attention. I think that I find her so attractive.
The walls are touched with 8 pale frames that captured textile of silk, linen and wire. Each layered and accented with echoes of wind blown pastels.
There is one wall mounted sculpture. A linear steel grid that folds on itself creating a nest and cover for 2 stones kissing. It reminds me of an up cycled Mid-Century modern Ranch gone minimal. For me it is the most intimate of Gilbert’s works. As a viewer you get a voyeuristic glance into this Artist’s connection with someone or something.
I was greeted with a warm hug and subtle smile. Dressed in a grey knit cocoon sweater, Gilbert’s personal pallet blends quite well in her garden of thoughts come to life. As an Artist myself there is overwhelming emotion when your vision has visualized. I felt her pride, her relief, and eagerness to share.
I asked about Weaver’s Chant. It sits low on a block pedestal. The strong edge alabaster rock grounds a intertwined wire textile that frays in all direction. I assumed it was a prefabricated panel that she pulled apart to resemble a dessert coral. Imagine making a pot holder out of loops and bands. Then imagine executing that with steel rods. Gilbert shared that each rod was individually woven to create a rigid tapestry. She then molds it into a musical wave. There is flow in the creature and some how her voice is heard.
If Tethered best describes this exhibition, then I too am attached in some way. I relate to this wind. I connected with these objects. It captured me in an unexpected way and assured me that visualizing the invisible can result in a wish come true.
Gail Gilbert: “Tethered”
Nov 15, 2016 – Jan 5, 2017
3130 McLeod Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89121
Visit Gail’s webpage for more details on her art and showings.
As a working Artist I have always been curious about the creative process of others. No matter the form, the medium, or the end result. My joy comes from the physical action of creating. I am less optimistic and most hopeful when designing. When I am physical painting none of that matters. I am in the moment. By the time I clean up and put away my working tools, the emotional attachment often lessens. Here at Floating Boats I aim to capture their and my impressions. Act2Art is my verb to exploring methods of artistic expressions.