Part of life is creating your individual path. Most of us create the road we travel in subtle ways, without straying too far from the beaten track.
Visual artists tend to work with more expressive and communicative methods that are unique to their personal experiences. Indeed, the very process of making art and presenting it for an exhibition takes the sharing of research and the investigative journey in directions that would push most people beyond their comfort zone.
“Interwebbing” is an exhibition of new artwork by Akron Soul Train resident artist Candy Coated. It is a visceral and sensual visual exploration of the artistic experience of an artist who explores a spiritual journey and eager to share the experience with us.
The exhibition is inspired by a moment of enlightenment that the artist had on interdependence where “an understanding came to me that all beings and all things are connected, and knowing that often things are more connected than we think ”.
Candy Coated became aware of the ancient Buddhist creation metaphor “Indra’s Web” (also known as “Indra’s Jewels” or “Indra’s Pearls”) as described by this quote from Sir Charles Elliot: “In the sky of Indra, there would be a network of pearls, arranged in such a way that if you look at one, you see all the others reflected in it. Likewise, every object in the world is not just itself- same but involves every other object and IS in fact everything else. ”
The artist has drawn inspiration from experiences in many places over the years, including China, Northern California, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The installation occupies all of the gallery’s exhibition spaces and is made in a wide range of styles and media including ceramic, fabric, pattern, print, vinyl decals and reflective surfaces. The work is not presented in a rigid way. Rather, it transforms and spreads throughout the gallery in a way that reflects the thoughts and process of the artist.
While the exhibit may lack the formal and familiar structure that one can often see in a museum, this does not mean that the presentation of the work lacks a thoughtful approach or is less serious in its creation than some something that has been framed or featured on a certain nice pedestal. The art and art of installation can take various forms and what Candy Coated presents to us is a deeply personal and exciting moment of reflection and sharing that has taken the form of this bright and colorful installation.
The residency at Akron Soul Train enabled the artist to complete unfinished work and produce a large-format digital print series of quilted textile pieces. This particular series of photos is displayed alongside actual textiles. Collages convey the same type of physical presence and energy despite different media.
The patchwork textiles in the photo series function more as a formal composition of colors and textures than a construction made up of different types of fabrics. The color gold or yellow interposes itself in the upper left corner of each piece which features familiar-looking blue patterns originating from the bottom of the image plane, then interrupted by red tones from the right and left. These are glorious explorations and it looks like they breathe and swell as if it is real fabric and not the digital image as we know it.
This large-scale installation gives us a moment to better understand what it means to be an artist. This is the strength of what Akron Soul Train does. Thanks to his support for artistic research, we have the opportunity to confront something colorful and from an unexpected point of view.
Exposure: “Interwebbing” by Candy Coated
Address: Akron Soul Train Gallery, 191 S. Main St.
Hours: From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Friday. Until August 28. There is plenty of parking right outside.
More information: Email Christine Ries at [email protected]