Ann Laser and Patricia Pierce Featured in "Alchemy of Decay" Exhibition
In many prehistoric civilizations, the artist and the Shaman were synonymous. Artists were often the medicine men, wizards, and priests in these early societies. Today, artists are acknowledged as leading edge thinkers, but a new show in the New Mexico State Capitol Rotunda Gallery explores the ancient concept of artist as alchemist in a modern context.
Two ViVO Contemporary artists—who both use the decay of discarded objects as raw material for new creations—show their latest works in this intriguing “Alchemy of Decay” exhibition. Creative Expansionist Patricia Pearce and mixed media artist Ann Laser join artists Marilyn Chambers, Amy Parrish, and Bill Skrips for this exhibit of magical artistic exploration.The alchemy in this exhibit involves the transformation of found and discarded objects into unique artworks, which connect the viewer to the meanings and emotions embedded in these objects from their original users.
Ann Laser describes her process as similar to a miner going into the depths of the mine to discover and retrieve treasures—for her practice, Laser enters the deep places within herself using her intuition as her guide. The intriguing richness of her art arises from the energetic spontaneity with which she works. Colors, forms, textures, and images rise and fall as the layering and re-layering process unfolds. Her intense engagement with the piece continually tells her where to go next. At times the process is smooth and includes happy accidents; at other times the interaction becomes a struggle of wills. Her work radiates an authentic energy born of this process.
A few years ago, Laser's strong interest in incorporating different materials into her mixed media pieces led her to begin assimilating used teabags into her work. She now facilitates The Teabag Project, a collaborative art project in which people from around the world donate used teabags for inclusion in her art.
Creative Expansionist Patricia Pearce likes to infuse new life into old things. She feels that decaying objects are not dying, but simply in the process of transformation—often turning into something more beautiful than its original form. Pearce's rich and supple creations are the products of a lifetime of making art. She has worked in sculpture, painting, collage, wood, and bronze sculpture and printmaking, but her assemblage works make this exhibit a celebration of transformation and rebirth and reintroduce the role of magic in the creative process.
Ann Laser's works on display in the Rotunda Gallery in "Alchemy of Decay." Photo by Jane Rosemont.
The “Alchemy of Decay” exhibit is on display at the Rotunda Gallery at the New Mexico State Capitol until December 9th.
For more information about artists Ann Laser or Patricia Pearce, go to ViVO Contemporary.