Art Exhibit: Katy Stone’s Fall at Boise Art Museum

Nancy Flynn Arts & Culture, Stream of Consciousness Archive, Travel

The Apostrophe Blog

Musings on Writing and Life.

Who would have thought that painting on clear sheets of Duralar acrylic that are then cut and secured into place with platforms of wood and small pins could be such an affecting sculptural installation? But, indeed, they were. Each of Katy Stone’s three pieces in her exhibit “Fall” at the Boise Art Museum in Boise, Idaho back in June 2005 seemed to be an exploration of the word, fall, in its various meanings. A common enough English word—it denotes not only a season but hair and losing in war—she had taken words and teased out connotation in her visual work. The pieces are tall—I’m not good with height but they go floor to ceiling which must be fifteen feet. One immediately evokes dripping blood, another strands of hair, and the third the flow of a waterfall. But wait, they do more than that. First off, in the listing of media used to create the work, Stone included the words “cast shadow.”

Each piece could be viewed from the front as well as the back, which is a mirror-image, shadow version of its frontal self. For me, the coolest part was what these pieces also DID. The sheets of painted Duralar acrylic plastic MOVE—whether from fans blowing in the mysterious netherworld of the gallery’s ceiling or from the rustle of air cause by a person—me—walking by, I can’t say. And it did not matter. Because the movement caused the painted shapes to shift and the shadows to shift and the whole room to be alive with quiet, almost soundless motion. It’s often hard to climb inside words and make them make shades of meaning; poetry may be the best example of our human efforts to try and do this. Katy Stone’s installation at the Boise Art Museum felt at the time like words in motion. Lovely, provocative yet tranquil and pleasing work.

The public domain image above is an undated postcard print of a remarkable cascade on the White River in Jamaica.

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