Arab Today, arab today karrie hovey groundcover exhibition at recology
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Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Karrie Hovey: Groundcover exhibition at Recology

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Karrie Hovey: Groundcover exhibition at Recology

Washington - Arabstoday

Spring brings reminders of all things green and growing, so Karrie Hovey\'s \"Groundcover\" exhibition at Recology becomes an eerie ode to the season. Her massive green and blue sculptural piece made of molded broken glass echoes the frothy, translucent hues of the ocean; her recycled books, stripped of their covers and sliced, cluster and bloom like papery anemones or blossoms. The latter harks directly to the Mill Valley artist\'s previous work, which has taken her as far afield as the Netherlands\' and China\'s flower markets. \"Prior to this, a lot of my work had to do with floral industry and flowers, as a commentary on the petrochemicals and flowers,\" Hovey, 40, says from Recology, otherwise known as the San Francisco dump and recycling facility, where she has been a resident artist this spring. \"In China, chrysanthemums are a flower of mourning, whereas here they are a joyous, happy flower. \"With books, I\'m in mourning that books are going away, but joyous that books I wouldn\'t have had access to are being reborn in the digital age.\" Books were just a few of the many unexpected objects she uncovered in the trash during her four-month residency. \"I wasn\'t expecting it,\" she confesses. \"I treasure books - I\'d never think about throwing a book in the garbage.\" They were some of the few manufactured materials she used. \"You find little treasures,\" Hovey recalls. \"I found this beautiful set of porcelain teacups, and you know they used to sit in someone\'s cabinet.\" However, she adds, \"I didn\'t want the residency to change the way I was working. I didn\'t want to make collaged sculpture - though with this residency, it would be easy to do because you find a lot of cool things.\" Instead, the work has become an extension of her investigations into humans\' manipulation of the natural world. The phrase \"groundcover\" emerged from \"the human compulsion to cover the ground structurally, building roads and houses and whatnot,\" she explains. \"While I was here, a lot of materials coming in were building materials and debris from construction and our need to build. I wanted it to be reclaimed, and thus the plant forms. It\'s meant to be ambiguous: We\'re covering ground, but the ground is reclaiming itself.\" So her rickety slat installation with the working title \"Build,\" which climbs the walls, looks as fragile, haphazard and random as unchecked development. \"It\'s haphazard and tenuous, as if a huge gust of wind could cause it to come crashing down,\" she says. \"It came a lot out of having been in China and how structures are constructed and then taken apart, but also here, how we also don\'t necessarily plan our growth.\" Similarly, the heavy but liquid-looking, ice-like glass slab - made of about 600 4-by-4-inch blocks of broken glass, created after \"hours and hours of breaking glass,\" then fusing them together in a glass kiln - could be seen as a comment on human waste. Or the uncanny way that chickens come home to roost. \"Is it supposed to be glass or water or ice forming or melting?\" Hovey asks. \"That goes to whether the water will reclaim the ground again.\"

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