Jean Albus and Norman Broomhall at Hinterland
Norman Broomhall and Jean Albus‘ exhibition, Into the Within, is definitely a magical installation, realistic to a high degree. To create the piece the artists filled a 26-foot long truck with thickets, magpie nests, willow twigs, bones, old silk flowers loving reclaimed from cemeteries, feathers, and leaves. This is an intense piece. Enter into the center of a dense stand of tall shrubs. The eye wanders a bit to the central altar but is brought back by a keening repetition of details. The masses of sticks that hover over the body are interrupted by vintage cage lights that set off the 8″ x 10″ acrylic transfer images of dessicated animals, pelts, bones, leaves and bodies that are delicately prepubescent. It’s hard to slow down and really look at each image. I wanted to run and see the altarpiece, but couldn’t. The work held me back and then in turn- propelled me forward.
The colors in the beginning of the short weaving path are tonal- allowing the focus to rest on the pairing of the yellowish light, bird nests and floating photography. Sticks behind photographs are lit up. There are photographs of sticks with shadows playing on each side. I look at the photograph of the sticks. I look at the sticks. I can take a photograph of the photograph of the sticks lit up within the sticks. Media doubling in a wide-speed bandwidth, Yep, I saw it on the interweb first. I’ll see it again.
It’s unreal the amount of detail. Yet, it’s completely real, a place I’ve been. The leaves and bird feathers crunch under my feet as I make my way down the short weaving path. I’m thinking about Walt Whitman’s epic, Leaves of Grass mixed up with some rough disorderly kisses. There’s some passion here even if it’s dead and dry.
Reaching the end of the path looking up “into” -an old, softly, loved dress (that could have been worn by Dickens’ Miss Havisham) is surrounded by faded silk flowers, thickets, and magpie nests. Think Dario Robleto. Directly below is a short wall of glass blocks with photo transfers of birds and nests with a pile of sun-bleached bones resting atop. But go down to the ground again. Look down in the pile of leaves and feathers. So many feathers, it’s as if birds fought here. In this thickness of material is the genius link to something other than. Other than death and decay, there is this small space where glossy rabbits, swans and the small Bambi, the doe rests. To pair this half cerebral/ half visceral drama, this material work with a pile of kitsch opens it all up to be reinterpreted again. I thought I knew what it was as I was looking. Then it was entirely new.
Hinterland Art Space
3254 Walnut St.
Denver CO, 80205
Closing Reception on 1st Friday: May 3, 6-10p
Additional gallery hours are by appointment – please contact Sabin Aell: 720.309.1764 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All writing by Theresa Anderson unless marked otherwise.
I’m a Denver-based interdisciplinary artist and a writer whose art blog was selected as a top five finalist by the Westword 2012 Denver Web Awards. Exhibiting nationally and represented in numerous private collections, my artwork has been featured and included in publications such as Studio Visit, The Feminist Wire, Style Carrot, The Denver Art Museum blog, The Collective, Aurora Magazine, Irving Sandler Artist File, Calyx Journal, Saatchi Online Magazine, Creative Quarterly, Westword and the Denver Post. I’m active in the Denver art scene, exhibiting works and presenting a master artist demonstration on drawing at the Denver Art Museum, Artist Residency at PlatteForum, Redline Project Gallery, Pirate Contemporary Art and was the founder and director at Ice Cube Gallery 2009 – 2013.
Check out my grassroots fundraising campaign here.