FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 29, 2015
Hide & Seek: A playful installation featuring sculptural works and drawings.
Colfax Community Network Youth
Spit Worm, Ike & Whatever: Inner creatures from the Land of Weird.
Denver, CO — April 29, 2015: Sarah Rockett, Resident Artist at PlatteForum, is an artist fascinated with drawing and painting since she was a very small child in Michigan. At night in bed, when it was dark, she, like many of us, was terrified by the scary things hiding under her bed. Her lamp became her saving grace, illuminating the room and dispersing the unknown creatures lurking below. Later, in the freedom of graduate school, Rockett was introduced to sculpture and expanded her two dimensional drawings into three-dimensional objects.
Ethel, a spider-like object constructed from bed springs and domestic materials, sits at the center of Hide and Seek. Oozing from below and painted directly on the floor, a bizarre twisting form creeps and leaks into the surrounding space. Simultaneously horrifying and humorous, the work expresses the anxieties and fears that travel through childhood into adulthood. As in Sarah’s childhood, a lamp, titled Grace, becomes the saving grace from the darkness of the unknown.
At first sight Ethel evokes the spirit of Louise Bourgeois’s spiders, giant forms built with steel, marble and bronze, created as metaphors of mother. Instead of industrial materials, Rockett uses discarded domestic materials, exploring the comfortable safety of home versus the fear of the unknown. Grace towers in reach of Ethel, promising safety from the anxieties of darkness. Her form, built from everyday objects, twists and turns vertically into a beacon of light. It’s hard not to remember the proposed Russian Constructivist Tower of Talin, a beacon to modernity created after the Bolshevik Revolution by Vladimir . Both playful and familiar, Rockett’s aesthetic invites the childhood mind into an adult space of self exploration.
Rockett’s work is playful, celebrating the feminine and humor, reaching beyond the traditional materials of fine art to create sculptural installations. Acting as an invitation to all viewers, the work becomes a catalyst for memory and shared experience.
As part of the artist residency, Rockett lead a series of Learning Lab workshops with nineteen spirited youth from Colfax Community Network. The kids explored their inner creatures, those unique and idiosyncratic beings that inhabit their personal world. Through exercises in writing, drawing and stitching fabric, the kids then created their three-dimensional creatures, allowing each child to embrace and express their own fantastic weirdness.
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, May 15, 2015, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
EXHIBITION: Continues through June 5, 2015
Monday-Friday, noon – 4:00 pm
or by appointment, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-893-0791
NEW LOCATION: 2400 Curtis Street, Suite 100, Denver, CO 80205
Events are free and open to the public
About the Artist: Sarah Rockett
Sarah Rockett received her MFA in Drawing at CSU Fort Collins and BFA in Studio Art from the University of New Mexico. Currently an Affiliate Instructor at Metro State University of Denver, she has exhibited her work throughout the country. Rockett states: “Comedy, frightful forms, and childhood imagination all play a significant role in my work. As human beings, we share many of the same fears, but we also unite via laughter. Embracing an element of the ridiculous introduces the chance to overcome fears and anxieties together. My use of materials, textures, and colors, creates a dark comedy full of playfulness in which worries may evaporate. The incorporation of mundane household materials initiates a question of perception. Manipulated and transformed into quirky menacing forms, the work gently asks the viewer to probe routine responses.” Learn more.
PlatteForum’s artist residencies offer time, space, and resources for professional artists to create new work and shape an experience where young people can learn through practice, expanding their sense of what is possible. During each residency, PlatteForum teams the artist with small groups of young people from neighborhoods throughout Denver to produce and exhibit a collaborative body of work. This award-winning nonprofit organization provides a nurturing space where creativity and artistic excellence are highly valued and where artists and youth work together to model the creative process, emphasizing the connections between their artistic passion, significant life experiences, and public issues. The overall experience transforms the lives of the youth, the artists and the community.
About Colfax Community Network
The overall mission of Colfax Community Network (CCN) is to advocate for and work on behalf of children and families residing in low-income, transient housing (primarily residential motels) along Colfax Avenue. By providing information, services, and programs, CCN strengthens and improves family and community life. Children especially suffer in this environment, dramatically increasing their chances for poor health, low self-esteem, school failure, gang involvement, and violent victimization.
PlatteForum events are free and open to the public.
PlatteForum has a new home:
2400 Curtis Street, Suite 100
Denver, CO 80205