Bundles, Fragments and Clusters

Garrison Art Center opens exhibit of works by Stacey Farley

There is so much beauty in a well-stacked woodpile … There is always something satisfying about finding materials out of the woods, which is so full of pattern and inspiration.’

Bundles, Fragments and Clusters, an exhibition by Stacey Farley (see the April 29 feature story on Farley’s designs for Boscobel) in The Riverside Galleries at Garrison Art Center, coincides with the annual exhibition smallWORKS in the adjacent gallery. Farley’s work has its roots in the long tradition of landscape in Hudson Valley art. It is a contemporary take that explores the artist’s personal vision of our region through the organic materials existing quietly around us, and the narratives that tie us to the land.

Stacey Farley with some of her work

Stacey Farley with some of her work

The body of work on view Dec. 13 though Jan. 4 includes two-dimensional works as well as sculpture and installation. In the gallery windows, carefully stacked firewood forces gallery guests to see this everyday winter imagery in a new light, as they enter into a microcosm of the Hudson Valley seen against a backdrop of surprising cobalt blue. Farley’s work is often documentary in nature, referencing images and materials encountered in the dense woods that surround area homes and villages.

There are images of birds, forested hills, the patterns of bark and crystals frozen on the surface of a puddle. Seemingly perched in the landscape, the images are placed on the surface of sliced or split wood, leaves and ceramic pieces. On the floor, bundles of firewood bear the familiar landscapes of the area and hint at stories of the artist’s family at play — on the lake where her family skates in winter and in fields of hay in late summer. Elsewhere, tiny but vast landscape images appear on leaf surfaces, backlit to reveal their own elegant inner structure and strength.

A detail from a piece by Stacey Farley

A detail from a piece by Stacey Farley

Tile works by the artist, like discursive lists documenting local vegetation, bring to mind an image of the artist with pockets full of twigs, and flowering plants found on long walks in the woods, all the while reminding us that Farley has been making ceramic tile art for over 25 years.

There will be an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 13. The exhibition closes Jan. 4. Galleries are closed Mondays and will also be closed weekdays from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1 but opens weekends and other days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit garrisonartcenter.org.

Photos courtesy Garrison Art Center

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