That change is both the theme and reality of the new “Metamorphosis” exhibit, which is on display at Bountiful’s Lamplight Gallery now through the end of the month. The exhibit, a new twist on the gallery’s annual “Out of the Box” exhibit, touches on the idea of change and transformation through a variety of different subjects and mediums.
Though I will admit a part of me missed the sheer whimsy of the “Out of the Box” exhibits, which encouraged artists to work with different mediums than they were used to, the “Metamorphosis” exhibit is just as pleasurable and far more thought-provoking.
Alicia Jensen’s “Leaf It To Nature,” which focuses tightly on the slow dissolving of a single leaf as time passes, is a simple but powerful statement on the artistry of nature and the inevitability of change for everything and everyone. Stan Elmer’s “Heat + Pressure = Diamond” goes a similar route, but offers up a reminder that even the hardest change can turn out positively.
Gary Jensen’s “Face in the Mist,” on the other hand, suggests timelessness in the face of change. The overlay is the spirit of the Native American people, still lingering in the memory of the land despite all the losses and forced relocations their people have experienced.
The exhibit takes a political spin with Tom Rogers “Metamorphosis,” in which profiles of George W. Bush and Barack Obama face opposite directions. Though it at first seems like a simple statement about the transference of power, the similarity between the two figures and the fact that they share a torso implies that there might not have been as much change between the two as everyone likes to think.
Of course, the change in focus couldn’t quite get rid of all the whimsy. Crayons transform into watercolors in Barbara Gustaveson’s “Colorful Crowd,” and both mediums offer up the bright cheerfulness of a double rainbow.
Nora Del Murdock went the other direction by experimenting with India ink, but a closer look at the abstract-seeming shape that resulted reveals a long muzzle, slightly crazy eyes, and the faintest hint of fur and teeth. When you see the title of the piece, “They Say I’m Wild ...,” it feels like a validation of your imagination.