Parrot Gallery is a project of artists and musicians worshiping at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster. Art exhibits are open for downtown Lancaster First Fridays and by appointment with church office. Regular gallery talks are scheduled with each featured artist.
Facsimiles: Wood Becomes Bone
Friday, May 4, 2018, 5-9 pm
“Walk on the ocean, Step on the stones;
Flesh becomes water, Wood becomes bone.”
–from Walk on the Ocean, by Dean Dinning, Randal Guss, Glen Phillips and Todd Nichols
Michael Eby Good shows two parts of his artistic life at his May 4 First Friday opening, 5-9 p.m., with this Parrot Gallery exhibit: his long-term practice of sculpting with found and scrap materials, and his new interest in theatrical set and prop design. He admits it’s a little unorthodox for the Parrot Gallery, and the Wizard’s nose takes up a lot of space. That nose represents a large portion of his creative output during the last year!
As for his sculpting, Eby-Good muses: “With what do we replace the biodiversity of our surroundings when we lose a creature or a place to the actions of humans? That’s the question I was thinking about when I started this project. We cut through the forest to build a pipeline. Or we clear the trees and the briars from a ridge, raise a housing development built of farmed wood and petroleum byproducts, and we call it Briarcrest in honor of what we’ve messed up.”
He has been creating facsimiles of some of the creatures endangered by our activities. He tried to honor the beauty of the original creatures without simply making direct copies of them, while recognizing that he may be building sculptural “Briarcrests” as well.
Some sculpture shows you the process of its creation. Eby-Good has always liked that, and so he attempts to leave some hints. In these sculptural pieces, he pursued a balance of roughness and finish that acknowledges the nature of the materials and processes used. Hemp twine, scrap wood from his basement stash, rice paper. Kayak framing, set painting, carpentry, origami.
With the theatrical set pieces and props, just the act of approaching them lets one see the limits of their illusion. In stage construction, there is an informal Ten Foot Rule: “If it looks good from ten feet away, it’s good enough.” No one in the audience will get closer. Eby-Good is inviting observers to break that rule to see the rough edges (and, ironically, the extensive use of petroleum-based building materials, e.g. foam insulation.)
Eby-Good concludes, “The Wizard of Oz deals with the theme of misrepresentation; and I enjoy the thought of you, as an observer, ‘looking behind the curtain’ of the props from the show. With several pieces, I have also included my working sketches and models, so you can see some of my design process . . . I hope you enjoy the show!”
“Facsimilies: Wood Becomes Bone” runs from May 4 through June 30, 2018.
The Parrot Gallery is open on First Fridays and Sunday mornings.
Appointments can be made during the week.