Earthen Clay

we slip away like snakes leaving only the shedded skin 

And The Forms Which Linger, Humming In Our Ears
organized by Sophy Naess and Kari Rittenbach
with the 2024 painting and printmaking cohort
January 20-30 2024
Green Hall Gallery, Yale University, New Haven CT

Outside The Dark Pink Air, 2024, wood, plaster, cotton thread dyed with goldenrod, metal watering can, used tow strap, glass, mirror, rhinestone necklace, clips, plastic picture frame, laser print fragment, silicone, glitter, acrylic, gesso 12’ x 2’ x 2’

Parting Folds of The Sun (softly beating), 2023, painted wooden curtain rod in plastic cover, acrylic, milkweed leaves, lead, silicone, butterfly brooch, tulle, 10’ x 6”

Event Horizon, 2024, fabric, gesso, acrylic, metal, nails, 3” x 24” 2”

Breathwood Outhouse, 2024, wood, plaster, vinyl purse, egg tempera, found magazine clipping from the shitter, binder clip, acrylic, gesso, silicone, fabric, gift of pewter from E.R.’s studio, dimensions variable ( 10’ x 3’ x 4’)

We Slip Away Like Snakes Leaving Only The Shedded Skin, 2024, metal, wood, plaster, drywall mesh, acrylic, gesso, cotton thread dyed with acorns and goldenrod, photograph, milkweed seeds and pods, silicone mold scrap from E.R.’s studio, paper, water, glass, 9’ x 3’ x 3’

photos by Zeshan Ahmed 

Earthen Clay’s Cooperative Architectures 
text by artist and writer Emily Christine Velez Nelms

Linear assemblages defy gravity,

and beam

as they hold one another,

containing worlds ever in flux,

defined by an ethics

they built for themselves.

Earthen Clay’s cooperative architectures provide us glimpses into the pleasures of material and lived relationality. Neither exclusively sculptural nor relegated to pigmentation, the beginning of one set of assembled decisions is the ending of another. Here we are the spectator of a complex orchestra of physicality, containing time, sweat, earnest organic material, essence, and glitter.

Tended to by an intentional touch, pewter, glass, silicone, plaster, milkweed, plastic, and tulle disrupt nomenclatures of Western physics and organized systems. An expansive abstraction of revived lives and afterlives, Clay welcomes us to view the edge of an eclipse, the Parting Folds of The Sun (softly beating). Non-precarious, a choreography of endless iterations diffuses disciplinary bounds, unveiling to us the joys located in the phenomenology of living.

Closely related to their local ecology, their knowledges are constructed by the multitudes and plasticities of their ever expanding capacities to take various and unexpected forms. Clay tenderly ushers in moments long passed, but ever recurring, as spectral to the alchemy of care and generous holding, in a world predicated on extraction of every kind. We Slip Away Like Snakes Leaving Only The Shedded Skin. Wrought with memory and traces of an emotional economy that practices new ontologies of coexistence, these scaffolds of transcendence are not static, but ever assemblable. Their aftermath elucidates new structural skins, systems that bear witness to their departure from enterprise toward an embrace of infinite optimisms.

Harkening us to states of potentiality, we are invited to meet ourselves, our own associative impulses, and perhaps release self imposed confines of our realitie