Visual Art, Denver, CO
In Residence March 23 – May 16, 2015
Exhibition opens Friday, May 15, 5:30 – 8pm
Exhibition continues through June 5
Learning Labs: Colfax Community Network
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 Tatlin. 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.
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.
Learn more about the artist.
Learn more about participating in Learning Lab workshops with the artist.