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Nature can at once be beautiful and dangerous, gorgeously sublime, uncompromising and inconstant. With one hand it provides us with oxygen, water and food, and with the other it drowns us, eats us and wipes us away with disease.
St. Broxville Wood: Into the Thicket is an immersive, interactive installation by Jennifer Gunlock, Hilary Norcliffe, and Katie Stubblefield that evokes many of Nature’s unpredictable behaviors and dwells on our human response: from awe, celebration and song or story-creation, to domestication, callous disrespect and destruction. The artists' work further includes collaborative assembled sculpture and works on paper combined with wood elements, found object, ceramic and video projection installation, constructed interactive and instrumental sound installations.
St. Broxville—a fictional amalgam of the artists’ cities of birth—is a swamp, a forest, or a surreal setting for fractured memories, prophecies or visions. In this exhibition each artist explores her own complex attitudes towards the forces of Nature, bringing contemporary methods, curiosity and whimsy to her work with one of Nature’s most valuable, age-old gifts: Wood.
Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made. - Immanuel Kant, 1784
In honor of March 2020's Women's Month, this show features a three-woman collaborative exhibition dedicated to nature, humankind's interaction with the environment, and nature's response.
Based in Long Beach, CA, Jennifer Gunlock is a traveler who imbeds her wanderings into the artmaking process. With an attraction to crevices, old growth and decay, she photographically collects imagery such as the gnarled oaks and cemetery crypts of New Orleans, lichen-covered slate rock cliffs of Pennsylvania, and the beautifully decaying Beaux-Arts and Art Deco buildings of Los Angeles, to later deconstruct and assign new meaning in the studio.
Gunlock has earned a BA in Fine Art at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1998 and an MFA at California State University, Long Beach in 2003. She has exhibited nationally and in local venues such as Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Launch LA, and Angels Gate Cultural Center. She has been Artist in Residence at Playa in Summer Lake, Oregon; Shoebox Projects in Los Angeles; Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Saratoga, Wyoming; and at the Pajama Factory in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In 2014- 15 Gunlock participated in in “Fires of Change,” an NEA-funded collaboration between artists and scientists, to translate the social and ecological issues surrounding wildfire in the Southwest. Following a fire science bootcamp in the Grand Canyon, and a year to complete a project, a group exhibition opened at Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff, Arizona in September 2015 and traveled to the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson and 516 Arts in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Hilary Norcliffe was born in England, raised in Canada, and has lived for many years now in Long Beach, California. She holds a BA in Psychology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and received her MFA in Visual Arts from California State University Long Beach in 2002 in Drawing/Intermedia. There she was named Outstanding Graduate for the College of the Arts for her interdisciplinary work weaving visual arts with theatre, music and dance.
Norcliffe currently teaches art at CSULB and Coastline Community College, and likes to make art a lifestyle while she raises her daughter. She is particularly interested in opportunities to break down the boundaries between art and “life”: most recently she has been exploring the world of children’s picture books and creating wood- sculptural installations combined with found object, that sometimes double as interactive musical instruments, and/or tell quirky narratives about life with irony, whimsy and humor.
Katie Stubblefield lives and works in the Los Angeles area. She received her BFA from Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, and an MFA from California State University, Long Beach in 2001.Her works have been included in several group exhibitions including CSU Main Gallery, San Louis Obispo Museum of Art, Jamie Brooks Fine Art and POST Gallery. Stubblefield has received an Individual Artists Fellowship and microgrant in support of both her two- and three-dimensional works from the Long Beach Arts Council. She is part-time faculty at Coastline Community College, Newport Beach.
Stubblefield’s new wood cut prints, oil paintings, sculptures, and sight-specific installed projects explore order, chaos, and entropy. Her color-soaked oil paintings and value-based prints take visual cues from the natural resources used to complete her sculptural works and installed projects. Salvaged trees, rebar, concrete, discarded clothes, deconstructed architecture and disused vehicle parts are examples of the artist’s working materials that are interwoven, tangled and refigured in space. Stubblefield’s imagery is informed by site visits, forensic photography, first-hand accounts and evidence of changed/damaged/evolving environments.