Recently Artist Lorrie Fredette called up the studio looking for someone to help her by capturing images of her latest show at MOCA in Jacksonville. We are big fans of the arts here at Monarch and since I have worked on hundreds of commercial interior photography projects and studied Art and Art History in college it was especially exciting to photograph such a cool installation piece here in North Florida!
In the Artist's Words:
"My installations and sculptures are inspired by environmental and medical news stories pulled from today's headlines as well as historical events. Source material so far has included the swine, avian and Spanish flu epidemics, Lyme disease, Smallpox virus and the increased incidence of poison ivy with the growth of greenhouse gases. Once I've chosen an area of focus, I embark on a rigorous course of research and gather images, which I then alter, vet and reject through an elaborate system designed to completely subvert and distort any likeness to the original source. I am interested in this confluence of science and art, in methodology that thwarts my natural hand and in the contrast between "ugly" origins and sublime outcomes. The use of wax in its natural color as my primary medium is intentional -- the neutral palette emphasizes shape, the aroma can be intoxicating and the texture is one that invites touch -- all in support of my goal to lure viewers into an experience that they would certainly try to avoid had they encountered the original infection."
-Lorrie Fredette, Artist
What does MOCA have to say about this exhibit?
When considering artistic inspiration, few would think of a disease that ravaged millions and decimated the world populations. That is exactly what Lorrie Fredette used as the inspiration for the exhibition Iterations, a site-specific installation of The Great Silence, now in its third presentation at the University of North Florida Gallery at MOCA Jacksonville. Fredette's three-dimensional exploration of art and science will be on view from April 8 through September 10.
More than 2,000 smooth muslin-and-wax covered pods are the result of countless hours of labor, each one a unique object handcrafted by the artist. Together, they create a large-scale sculpture inspired by the smallpox virus w-ith a unique configuration. At more than twenty-nine feet long and just over five feet wide, the artwork is an undulating, floating canopy; it will be attached directly to the ceiling and suspended approximately eight and a half feet above the gallery floor. Thus, the installation's title, The Great Silence, is Fredette's interpretation of the virus and its history.
“The pod-like elements are connected [to the smallpox virus] via a twofold visual suggestion,” explained Fredette. “The first is a loose portrayal of the virus shape as seen under the microscope. The second … is the physical appearance of the disease on the human body. A rash breaks out on the skin turning into sores [that] can become pustules.”
Fredette became interested in the history of smallpox, a disease first brought to Cape Cod by European settlers between 1614 and 1617. Eventually, it annihilated 75 percent of the native population. “With smallpox as my host, I set out to uncover the story around this epidemic and the altered memories associated with it through the years of retelling the story," she explained to Artscope Magazine in 2011. In Iterations, each pod signifies both individual memory and collective memory.
“Nature has a way of showing us its power when we make ourselves still enough to appreciate its systems, structures, and ultimately, its ability to teach us how to live more in harmony with it, even as we seek to move ahead as a species,” said Sheila Goloborotko, exhibition curator and assistant professor of printmaking in UNF's Art and Design Department.
Fredette's work inspires contemplation of the forces of nature beyond our control. Both translucent and opaque, these luminous pods hover in midair between two worlds: art and science.
Fredette lives and works in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York. She has long been inspired by medical science and microscopic imagery, which she expresses across a variety of different mediums. Iterations marks her third unique expression of The Great Silence, and the installation at MOCA Jacksonville, a cultural institute of UNF, will be the most significant manifestation of the series to date. -Denise M. Reagan
Applying my extensive interior photography experience to creating photographs that truly capture the intended mood of the work was a different and exciting use of my skill set. The client is elated with the photographs I created to showcase her work. (All Images in this post ©Monarch Studio)
Photographer: Scott S. Smith | Monarch Studio
Artist: Lorrie Fredette
Museum/Gallery: Moca Jacksonville
The show is at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. A cultural institute of the University of North Florida 333 North Laura Street Jacksonville, Florida 32202 • It will be In Jacksonville APRIL 8, 2017 - SEPTEMBER 10, 2017