“A kind of Tea Party neighborhood in the realm of madness”

“A kind of Tea Party neighborhood in the realm of madness”

Artist Dana Sherwood’s exhibition “Some Type of Tea Occasion or One thing within the Realm of Insanity” just isn’t your grandma’s tea social gathering. There may be nothing delicate or reserved about it. And it would not actually step right into a realm of insanity however it actually flirts with risk.

One of many central works of the present is “Queen of Cups,” a site-specific set up, commissioned by UMass Dartmouth, by which neighborhood members have been requested to make porcelain teaware beneath the tutelage of Sherwood.

Almost 100 individuals turned members (and certainly, co-exhibitors) by creating cups and saucers of assorted styles and sizes, drawing, portray and glazing the surfaces. They’re displayed on a big banquet desk, stuffed with dried flowers, apples and at the very least one pumpkin.

“Queen of Cups” anchors the present, with its not very refined nods to Alice in Wonderland, which echoes by means of a lot of the remainder of the art work displayed. Sherwood casts a large web and carries an intriguing myriad of references to mythology, fairy tales, and post-apocalyptic popular culture visions of a future with out people.

Two movies are projected on the partitions of the gallery. “Feral Muffins” (11 minutes, 22 seconds) is an enchanting nocturnal take a look at raccoons, possums, cats and different animals devouring fancy desserts, sculpted gelatin molds, uncooked meat and grapes (put within the wooden by the artist) and captured on surveillance tape.

Equally, in “Bed room Bestiary” (18 minutes, 29 seconds), mammals, birds and bugs invade Sherwood’s fantastically staged banquets, this time in an deserted boudoir. He blurs the excellence between civilization and nature by making involuntary creatures his collaborators. With their appetites sated, they will surely fortunately return for a sequel.

With their eyes glowing beneath night time imaginative and prescient surveillance and with the startling clamor of falling dishes, the opossums and squirrels and their desk companions are a far cry from the lovable woodland creatures that frolic with Snow White, Cinderella and the remainder of the Disney Princesses. .

Together with his movies, Sherwood blurs the boundaries between tradition and nature, between order and chaos, and between the home and the wild.

Introduced on a pink Pepto-Bismol column is “Eat Me”, a rounded ceramic prime. On this one there’s a depiction of a snail atop a big human eye, itself above a cake show case. Inside are vivid pink foodstuffs. It may be Hostess Pink Zingers or sausages. It would not actually matter. And there is a ribbon that claims “Eat me.”

“Eat Me” is a transparent reference to “Alice in Wonderland”, the message on a cake that led the lady to develop into a large, earlier than ingesting a cup of tea that brought on her to shrink, then to have the ability to witness on the Mad Hatter. To style.

This phrase additionally seems on “Contained in the Stomach of the Snake”, a terracotta vase on which a white snake coils round its curved floor. A unadorned girl is mendacity on her again with meals resting on her abdomen and thighs.

In a lot of Sherwood’s work, feminine or animal-female hybrids are depicted within the wombs of assorted animals, together with a snail, an albino rabbit, and a legendary sea goat. The phrases “eat me” generally seem and generally not.

Sherwood faucets into sure sensibilities, if not the precise accounts of world mythologies, together with these of historic Greece and Babylonia.

“Contained in the Stomach of the Octopus” is a ceramic tray representing a mermaid inside an octopus. She presents sweets. Though not a direct reference, it’s paying homage to Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai’s 1814 woodblock print “The Fisherman’s Spouse’s Dream”, by which an octopus and the fisherman’s spouse interact in a selected sexual act.

A model of this art work turned a big factor in one of many ultimate episodes of “Mad Males,” by which Peggy Olson (performed by Elisabeth Moss), who began the sequence as an ingenue and who, with dedication and tenacity, has grown right into a assured girl who just isn’t afraid to talk for herself.

Strolling the halls of the promoting company, Peggy wears “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Spouse” and successfully turns into an emblem of feminine emancipation and creativeness. Ultimately, Peggy just isn’t so totally different from Alice.

In her exhibition, Sherwood challenges the viewer to contemplate many issues, together with what exists between the civility of a tea social gathering and the otherness of the environment.

“Dana Sherwood: Some Type of Tea Occasion or Thereabouts within the Realm of Insanity” is on show on the College Artwork Gallery at Star Retailer Campus, School of Visible and Performing Arts, UMass Dartmouth, 715 Buy St., New Bedford, till December 28.

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