Disaster and comfort: Jillian Mayer’s makeshift paradise reflects dire environmental conditions. | Arts


A number of Mayer’s sculptures resemble furniture and home décor items made from rubbish and salvaged materials.

Her approach to sculpture could be described as follows: DIY it, cover it with a thick layer of epoxy and give it an abstract and festive expressionist paint job, then use it for seating or as a frame for your painting. exhibition for decorative trinkets or utilitarian objects. .

The most elaborate example of this method is Mayer’s “Photobooth”, a playhouse-like installation made from objects that a child could have made or found, including wooden boxes, rudimentary ladders. and unbalanced ceramic objects, all painted in an array of flowery hues. If it weren’t so clean and colorful, it might also be reminiscent of the personal spaces homeless people often improvise in abandoned city buildings and tunnels.

Objects resembling sofas and low benches scattered throughout the show are meant to serve as seats, where spectators can stop to rest or contemplate. Other pieces are awkward elaborations on shelves and other home display furniture.

There’s also a freestanding screen that Mayer embellished with rope, two sets of inexpensive wind chimes, and shelves, one of which displays a crudely fashioned clay figurine.

One piece Mayer calls a “Stumpie” turns a multi-branched sawn tree stump into a freestanding, multi-tiered display that contains a stapler, ersatz potted plant, and a plastic pitcher partially filled with red liquid. These latter objects can probably be replaced by others intended for comfort, use or decoration.

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