Pt. 2 Gallery is excited to announce Mirrors, an exhibition that pairs the sculptures of Tyler Cross and Kyle Lypka, with neon glasswork by Meryl Pataky. The two bodies of work contemplate different topics, Cross and Lypka exploring continuous growth within their relationship, while Pataky’s body of work traverses the timeless human compulsion to create.
When viewed together, the show reflects two types of existential change and purpose. Cross and Lypka use their ceramic practice to compound conversations and reach consensus, while Pataky focuses her gaze on the historical use of craft to achieve a deeper understanding of herself, as she becomes part of that narrative. In the words of Kyle Lypka, “To me, Mirrors is the right word to describe what it’s like making work with another person. You end up learning more about the type of person/artist you are, or could be, when someone else is constantly bouncing your ideas back at you.” For Meryl, the mirror is her medium.
In the collaborative sense, the exhibit explores this beyond just Cross and Lypka’s collaboration, bringing in Pataky’s neon pieces and reflecting each artists’ craft into the space. Through their practice, each artist gains a better understanding of the self, their relationships with others and, of course, their mediums.
Meryl Pataky’s latest body of work for the show Mirrors is, in short, a physical meditation on the timeless spirituality of craft. This physical meditation is practiced in the form of creation, by taking materials and changing them to manifest a new object that is imbued with meaning. She finds this meaning by working with materials that provide resistance, forcing her to create a compromise between her will and reality, accepting that dichotomy within herself. In this process, she enters into a dialogue with creators that has existed for millennia.
Throughout history, this concept of craft has taken innumerable forms. From the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids, to the Pyramids of the Mayan, Toltec, and Aztec Empires, to the Freemasons of Medieval Europe, humans have attempted to gain a higher state of consciousness through the process of bending reality through the philosophical and protoscientific traditions of alchemy and magik. These somewhat forgotten practices address natural mysteries directly in their questioning, tying them closer to arts than conventional sciences. If magik is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will, then Pataky’s pursuit is magikal in nature.
The work exhibited also confronts perversions in the collective understanding of craft. In many of the aforementioned examples, most acutely the Freemasons Guild, the attainment of master status and even membership was limited to men. Pataky, being a woman, challenges this underlying assumption about womens’ competence by not only creating work and challenging herself, but also by asserting her position as Grandmaster, a title reserved for those who have devoted themselves wholeheartedly to their journey.