Immediately, it is obvious that the objects presented hold meaning to be deciphered, but the works in this show, both collectively and individually, also invite a formal appreciation. Handmade wood and glass encasements are framed out with bright colors or metallic finishes, and each presents either a single object, a juxtaposition of several objects, or a newly realized hybrid object for consideration.
In some cases the items presented are familiar and the meaning seems to lie in the arrangement of things. In others, there is a newness, a curiousness, that otherwise familiar objects are imbued with. But then, a few of the boxes present something that seems intentionally more elusive and less personal. In all cases, the work effectively elicits a response on a formal level… to color, texture, shape, space, relationships.
The piece, “Relic (from memory)” aside from presenting something that seems quite odd, also feels a bit like an analogous (familial) color study. Limited to a combination of browns, a saturated peach, a dull orange, and a bright yellow, the work presents a replica of a vintage bike handle, attached to which is a lovely, slightly curled ponytail of rich brown hair - both elements are shiny and elicit a tactile response. Most of us know what it feels like to settle our hands into the grooves of a rubbery bike handle, and run our fingers through long locks of hair.
Like many of the objects on display, the bike handle in “Relic (from memory)” is a handmade replica (cast bronze), while the hair attached is genuinely that of the artist’s daughter. This piece feels sort of minimal, but is also loaded with associations and possible meanings. For me, it stirs childhood memories of leaning over handlebars, hair blowing like their plastic streamers, feeling free; but also memories of mothering young reckless children, and the new feelings I have about setting them free, as I’m readying to do with my own daughter.
The artist, Anthony Cervino, explains that “this body of work created with both found and sculpted materials, that are displayed as imagined relics do not just depict banal detritus, but instead invite viewers to consider how otherwise commonplace objects can carry both sentimental and cultural meaning.”
See the show, “Afterwards” by Anthony Cervino at Troppus Projects in downtown Kent through Saturday, March 12. The gallery is free and open to the public from 12-5 every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. To read more about the show and learn about the artist, visit troppusprojects.com