Beili Liu / One, Another
Tom Hughes / The Shotgun Method
This delightful show at Buffalo Arts Studio is small in scope, holding only a couple of installations from each artist, but big in vision.
Tom Hughes’ sculptural work has a raw, urgent energy, much like thoughts that float around in his head that he wants to get down as soon as possible. Like sticky notes one posts on a wall, only to have them jumbled. Language for Tom is both where his artistic vision begins and the anchor for his often rough-hewn sculptures. There is a duality of lightness, words floating in the air – bits and pieces to turn around in your own head, and that of in your face – the way the sculptures are displayed, particularly THE SHOT GUN METHOD (Installation, top image). Hughes’ work brings body and mind together, both in his sculptures and in the manner that invites the viewer to examine and interplay with them.
Beili Liu’s work LURE and BOUND #1 are from her Red Thread Series. Liu has been exploring Chinese legends in her works, life, and death – in between and beyond. These two presentations are inspired by the ancient legend of the red thread, which tells that from birth, invisible red threads link children to their soul mates.
This installation of LURE (below) is captivating in more ways than one. Suspended from the ceiling and reaching down to a few inches from the ground, about 1300 red treads culminate with tightly coiled discs of red thread, floating a few inches above the ground.
One is reminded on lotus blossoms, but then again of placentas, or corpuscles – organic and rich in symbolism.
When viewed from different perspectives the viewer is drawn into the story, and when examined closely, one can see what discs are ”united’ with each other, and which ones are still searching. The movement of the viewer changes the installation with subtle shifts in the air, representing the elements of life that moves one into, against, and apart from, one another – making the viewer part of the installation in a very organic manner.
BOUND (left) is created by affixing thousands of needles with red thread to two facing gallery walls, representing a silhouetted man and woman. Again the installation changes with time, as gravity pulls the threads downward, perhaps grounding the figures in time and space.
Both Hughes’ (who will be featured in September’s Beyond/In WNY) and Liu’s work explore forces of nature, time, family, and relationships, both to others and to elements in life.
This is an exhibit not to be missed, and a phenomenal installation. BAS has done an excellent job at staging the two artists and the juxtaposition of their materials.
The exhibit continues through March 6th.
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Friday 11-5; Saturday 11-3.
Buffalo Arts Studio
2495 Main Street