This past third Friday I was particularly impressed with the show “Collected Echos” on view at the Halt gallery featuring artworks by Patricia Sannit and Rossitza Todorova. I am going to focus this review on Patricia’s work, which took form as a series of ceramic cylinders clustered in circular groups across the floor of the gallery, leading the way to a mixed media wall installation at the back.
Most of the cylinders are roughly soda can or water bottle sized, though some expand in girth to near deep dish pizza dimensions. Granted, here and there a cone or rectangular prism is visible adding a bit of variety. On closer examination, each cylinder is carved with a primitive pattern of triangles, rectangles, and / or circles. The carving is most obvious on the flat topsides, but is also evident on the curved sides of the cylinders. In color, the objects are mostly white, though yellow hues show through where the surface has been carved. A few of the groupings are encircled in rusted steel bands.
En masse the cylinders look like the organic growth of a city as it stretches across the floor, whose citizens are more concerned with circles than our grids. Close up, I can’t help but see the carvings as some kind of writing, or numbering system. I am reminded of ancient stone cylinders and time telling devices. Each cylinder appears to be as computer file, holding its data in its carvings. This then makes me think of the larger groupings as an ancient or alien computer, doing work on its parts. Perhaps with the right alignment, a future path will be clear. The whole floor installation feels old, worn, as an artifact.
The wall installation deviates from the floor, though a few cylinders remain perched sideways on a log shelf, half of its bark stripped away. There is also a large carved ceramic half dome resting an edge on the floor, a tilted wooden beam that helps guide the eye from the floor to the wall, some drawings of hands, and a variety of nests made from clay and wire.
The relationship between the wall work and the floor installation is not immediately clear. The nest forms give me pause due to the connotations they include: birth, children, protection, birds, etc. Coupled with the inclusion of the human hands, a bit of the alien records interpretation fades away.
Overall I felt this show was excellent. And it was nice to see these forms organized in an organic way, versus the doorway fill you may remember them as from ARTELPHX.