This pair of exhibitions explores the relationship between art and nature, creates awareness of our local natural resources, and promotes wetland and ecological conservation. The artists will create ephemeral sculptural artworks using natural materials in sites in the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve in La Cienega. Works will be on view at the preserve throughout the months of September and October. A companion exhibition of related works by the same artists will open in the Axle Contemporary mobile gallery on September 1 and continue through September 23. This is the third iteration of the Wilderness Acts Biennial, which began in 2014. Works in this exhibition include a small shelter constructed from "invasive" saplings, a day-long performance ritual of seed distribution, and beavers sculpted from mud.
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden's Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve is a 35-acre nature preserve and home to a rare natural cienega (marsh) and hosts a bountiful diversity of plants and wildlife.
presented by Axle Contemporary and the Santa Fe Botanical Garden
DIRECTIONS: The preserve is located on the I-25 West Frontage Road south of Santa Fe. From I-25 take Exit 271 for “La Cienega” and turn right onto West Frontage Road heading north. The parking lot entrance is 1½ miles north after turning onto West Frontage Road. From New Mexico State Road 599 (NM-599), turn south onto West Frontage Road heading toward the Downs at Santa Fe Race Track. The parking lot entrance is two miles south of the Downs at Santa Fe Race Track.
Wilderness Acts 2018
Cannupa Hanska Luger & Ian Kuali’i
Rick Yoshimoto & Chrissie Orr
with The Santa Fe Botanical Garden's
Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve
September 1 – 23 in Axle
All of September and October at the wetlands preserve
Opening for both shows: at the wetlands preserve, Saturday, Sept.1 , 1- 4 pm
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Robert Gaylor first conceived of this artwork in 2012, but the message he is offering seems even more relevant today.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come doesn't seek to comment on all the problems of our time, but brings forth references which inspire reflection on them. His references are clear and direct: homelessness, shopping, Christmas, Dickens, and Lincoln.
At night, on the street, sparkling with lights is not a sacrificial Fir Tree, but a sacrificial man. He is bundled against the cold, with his possessions piled into his shopping cart. He is not shopping, but trying to survive.
How did a love of Jesus and the annual rebirth of the year become a runaway festival of conspicuous consumption and lavish excess? What happened to our sense of empathy and community?
The face of Gaylor's man is molded from a life mask of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln asked in Gettysburg, if our nation, "conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal... whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure." He declared that "it is for us the living...to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced." In referencing Lincoln, Gaylor seems to ask if we have dedicated ourselves to noble work.
Eugenia Parry reflects on Gaylor's sculpture in her recent essay, Taken In.
"His man is real and not...He becomes a transcendent, heavenly body, a kind of constellation, like Orion, The Hunter, or Cassiopeia, The Lady of the Chair, brought down to earth. We look toward this clouded figment, this new arrival from afar for a message representing those with nothing whom we ought to respect and help. The man lowers his head . We aren’t there for him. But he, the star cluster, is ever present for us: The constellation of The Lonely Cart Pusher. As Dickens’ biographer Chesterton mused, “The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange.”