Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fire and the Forms of Life

Promotional Image featuring Feelings (2011) and All in All (2010) by Brad Miller

I had the opportunity to visit the Edward Cella Art + Architecture gallery. The current show is called Primordial Algorithms by Brad Miller. It's an interesting exhibit. The works on display are of two categories, wood panels and ceramics. The uniting themes are their biomorphic impression and the utilization of fire in the process of creation.

Let's discuss the fire element first. In regards to the ceramics, the role of fire is obvious. However, with the wood panels, the compositional utilization of fire through the burning of patterns is interesting. The scorch marks have an organic, natural quality. Check this out:

Big Daddy (2011) by Brad Miller

The angle in which the scorches were made captures a natural sense of motion which is further enhanced by the wood grain. Additionally, the gradation of the burn marks creates a sense of depth within the panel, as if the red "cells" are emerging from the panel plane and trailing a burnt darkness that fades in the distance. It's an interesting technique.

As regards the biomorphic element, the exhibit has great complexity. First, both the ceramic works and the wood panels utilize designs that have a cellular impression, specifically evocation of the neural structures. In ceramic works such as Feelings, the impression is overt; from a neural core dendritic growths emerge.

Feelings (2011) by Brad Miller

On the other hand, the wood panels have the look of Golgi-stained neural samples, as though each panel is a slice of cerebral tissue manifested upon wood. Additionally, the use of bisymmetric design is strongly evocative of a biological subject. Observe the structure of All in All in the image at the top. It looks like an abstraction of a rostral-caudal slice of brain tissue from some alien biomorph. It even has ventricles and axonal terminals.

It's all very interesting and makes for compelling viewing. It isn't quite my taste in art, but I appreciate the distinctive aesthetic. Here's a vid showcasing Primordial Algorithms:

Here's a link to Edward Cella Art + Architecture gallery website.

And here's a link to Brad Miller's website.

Finally, if you're looking for a bit of Neural biology info, here's the Neuron Wikipedia page.


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