In her second solo exhibition at bitforms gallery in New York, Sara Ludy applies forms, motifs and concepts that have emerged as part of her digital practice to the realm of sculpture. Unearth, which runs from 28 March to 5 May, follows Ludy’s 2016 exhibition Subsurface Hell.
Unearth combines the physical with the virtual in an exploration of change, stasis and decay in the natural world. Attributes of Ludy’s digital practice emerge into three dimensions; the emergences incorporate water vapour, copper mesh and Waken Glass, a medium developed by Upterior which combines copper with glass. The influence of ornithology - the study of birds - can be seen throughout the exhibition.
“The exhibition engages nature’s durational cycles of preservation and decay using real and virtual ornithological elements. A celestial union emerges, transforming the gallery into a hybrid aviary.” - bitforms
Nest 1, 2018
Nests (2018) is a gathering of sculptural habitats for imagined birds arranged opposite a projection of live streamed video feeds showing bird habitats in the wild. The video feeds are available online at birdsmadeearth.com; the gallery is also broadcast as part of the work. Perches (2018) float in the gallery space, ledges of Waken Glass surrounded by delicate black copper mesh, waiting to be activated. The ephemerality and potential captured in both the structures and the materials they are made from extends Ludy’s investigation into the transience and complexity of nature. Trough, a live-streamed off-site sculpture in an anonymous tower block, is a further structure which interacts silently with, and has its potential activated by the natural environment it sits in, as well as by augmented reality birds flocking in the gallery.
Unearth is also influenced by meteorological and astral phenomena. Cygnus (2019) is a photographic work depicting the Cygnus constellation, shaped like a swan in flight, which is only visible when the sky is free from pollution and clouds. Refract (2018-19) is a digital painting of the interaction between prisms and refracted light, while Clouds (2018) digitally renders the behaviour of billowing canopies of water vapour. Suspended sculptural works Prisms (2018) and Core Samples (2018), which encapsulate molten copper forms, continue the exhibition’s engagement with the effects of light, water, stars and pixels.
Unearth is on display from 28 March to 5 May at bitforms, 131 Allen St, New York, NY 10002, US.
Top image: Cygnus (2019).
“All sculptures in the exhibition were created by Sara Ludy using patent-pending technology behind Waken Glass™ from Upterior. Through innovation and design, the company aims to strengthen and elevate the relationship between the person and the physical world. For more on Upterior and the invention of Waken Glass, visit www.upterior.com and Instagram @upterior.”