Tenri Cultural Institute of New York
Kathleen Elliot’s glass sculptures straddle the line between ritual and playfulness. Her work, which stems from a love of natural forms, explores how the wonders of nature, big and small, have an indisputable calming effect on us as we muddle through the distractions of daily life. Works such as Whispering Vine (2008) recall ceremonial dance, as a circle of latticed glass, capped with upward-reaching leaves, forms a web of ideals. Similar, but more colorful works such as Untitled Miniature (2008) and Untitled Miniature (2009) have the same basic construction, though their intimate scale makes them even more playful and charming. Growing in a Land Far Away (2007) represents Elliot’s exploration into alternative realities via the visionary writings of Carlos Castañeda. As a new observer of Elliot’s work, I was unaware of the connection, and I saw this work more as a transitional gesture in which the suggested movement of the metal framework supporting the glass botanical elements introduces thoughts of transition through abstraction. Elliot’s process of turning tubes and rods of clear glass into organic shapes can, at times, be quite political… see the entire review in the print version of January/February’s Sculpture magazine.