Tales From The Viewing Room…: While Sleeping, Watch
Lauren Clay’s multi-dimensional installations challenge the viewers’ perception of materiality, space and presence. The artist begins her process by hand-marbling and collaging paper that she then digitally scans and prints at a monumental scale. The floor-to-ceiling environment becomes an illusionary backdrop for Clay’s biomorphic sculptures constructed of oil, paper pulp and plaster on panel. Allusions to Neoclassical architecture suggest a physical setting for these human-scaled forms, while rhythmic, psychedelic curves blur the lines between corporeal and ethereal worlds.
Clay’s forthcoming installation will be titled, While Sleeping, Watch, a direct reference to a notorious alchemical engraving from the sixteenth century. Heinrich Khunrath’s elaborate illustration known as Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae, or Alchemist’s Laboratory, is an amalgamation of science and spirituality, rich in symbolism. Deep perspective leads the viewer down a mystical hallway of hidden messages, culminating in a cryptic archway that reads, “Dormiens Vigila,” or “While sleeping, be vigilant.”