The Pit is pleased to present Solarium, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Emily Marchand. The exhibition will run from March 3 - April 13 with a public reception from 4-7 pm on Sunday March 3, 2019. For Solarium, Marchand has installed an immersive installation of ceramic works with a banner-like textile hanging on the far wall.
Shield, the far wall textile work, immediately grabs the viewer’s eye upon entrance of the gallery. On it, Marchand has repeatedly sewn twenty different large scale symbols in bright colors. The designs continuously overlap, creating an abstract dizzying color field. Marchand’s chosen symbolism (a yellow beehive, a green apple, rain drops, yellow wheat, or red blood drops) reference her experiences with nature. Installed on the flanking wall of the gallery are nearly fifty amorphic shaped ceramic slab works. These new tablet works were made through a process in which Marchand pressed organic materials such as lavender, rosemary, acacia, sage, and other plants into clay. The plants were then mostly burned out in the kiln firing, leaving ghostly impressions of their physical form within the tablets. Each slab was then glazed in a manner reminiscent of an abstract expressionist painting. On the facing side wall, sitting on a long plinth are four ceramic vessels made from stacked concentric coils. The forms, titled Honeypots, bring to mind structures built by insects such as bee hives and termite mounds, as much as they do traditional pottery. Along the lip of the coils which form the sculptures are a series of small symbolic drawings made from underglazing which read like language or hieroglyphs. Again, these symbols often reference nature such as the repeated water drop. At other times they are pure abstraction bringing to mind a scribbled cursive sentence registering just outside of legible.
Marchand’s use of materials and symbolism reflect on the imbalance between society and nature resulting in food scarcity, and climate change. A solarium is a manmade structure designed with glass in place of walls in order to view or experience nature, in particular the sun. In Marchand’s immersive installation in the small Pit II gallery, another form of reflecting on nature and our relationship to it is put on display; one made through rigorous experimentation in both process and the language of symbolism.