On the grounds
Starting date is dependent on NYS COVID-19 regulations
Sited on the lawn behind Glyndor Gallery, Gracelee Lawrence’s arresting sculptural fountain explores the relationship between the body, propagated plants and technology—connections between humans and the natural world—as well as the sociopolitical histories of gardens. On top of a pedestal is a yellow-green biocyborg comprising a human-like body lying over its knees, a single dangling arm, its head a flowering angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia) drooping toward a basin of water, and a tail that resembles the plant’s stem.
Gardens can be seen as natural but cultivated spaces with systems of agency which influence decision-making. In referencing a hermaphroditic flower, Lawrence’s work touches upon gendered terms in gardens where the propagation of flowers is often feminized by human social constructs. The bell-shaped flower of the angel’s trumpet is alluring in form, color and fragrance, but the plant is dangerous—poisonous if ingested. In the work, the flower hangs downward toward a water-filled basin as if the biocyborg reflects on its own mortality. Lawrence explains: “The flower itself represents a potential for agency over one's body, grief, sadness, and a confrontation with mortality. The potential for self-destruction, and concurrently ecological destruction, is omnipresent in this beguilingly soft form crying into the basin.” In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, reflections on mortality surface in ways in which we are unaccustomed.
Lawrence juxtaposes digital and physical fabrication in her process, commenting on how our realities can shift and become fragmented with the burgeoning use of technology in a capitalist-driven, material society. The work provides a hopeful, post-humanist perspective in which boundaries between human, animal, and technology are transcended.
Lawrence’s most recent solo exhibition was at Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, NY in 2019. Group exhibitions have been held at Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY; Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Los Angeles, CA; and Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY, among others. Lawrence is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the University of Albany. She is also the founder of Virtual Studio Visit Network (VSVN) on Instagram, a member of the collective Material Girls and a 2019 Jerome Fellow at Franconia Sculpture Park. Lawrence received an MFA from the University of Texas, Austin and an BA with honors from Guilford College, NC.
Meet the Artist: October 22 at 2PM (More information on this virtual program to be provided.)