A Thousand Ways to Kiss the Ground
Through careful observation, collecting and re-presentation, Mari Andrews and Sheila Ghidini honor both nature and the man-made. Andrews gathers multitudes of leaves, stones, seeds, moss and other objects she finds on nature walks in the Sierras and elsewhere. Working intuitively while surrounded by these specimen-like treasures, she singles out some, combining them with wire, pasta, pipe cleaners or paper to create sculptures she describes as three-dimensional drawings. Either mounted on the wall or suspended, these delicate juxtapositions recall web-like structures, pods and other fundamental forms. As in nature, each of Andrews’ works can be seen individually as a subtly complex whole, or it may be viewed as one unique element among a symphonic array of interrelated parts.
Ghidini is also a collector of natural objects and images, many of which she finds at her rural Connecticut refuge. She closely observes roots, birds, feathers and nests, which she uses as subjects for sensitively rendered graphite drawings that she coats in beeswax. The man-made is not excluded from these representations, for many bird nests actually incorporate bits of stray string, paper, ribbon, etc. In Ghidini’s most recent works, she creates drawings directly on the wall and assembles with them found objects such as branches, a chair or an old tricycle to create vignette-like installations. Encountering one of these is like discovering a succinct and evocative haiku. Weaving together disparate elements, the works of Andrews and Ghidini invite us to rethink distinctions between drawing and sculpture and to reconsider boundaries between the natural and the manufactured.
About the artists
Bay Area artists Mari Andrews and Sheila Ghidini have been exhibiting extensively for over twenty years.
Andrews received her MFA from Otis Art Institute of Parson’s School of Design in Los Angeles and her BFA from the University of Dayton, OH. She is the recipient of numerous awards including an NEA Arts Fellowship and three residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program in Woodside, CA. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the San Jose Museum of Art, Richmond Art Center, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and the Tucson Museum of Art. It is included in the collections of the San Jose Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art in Portland, ME, the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco and the Eli Broad Foundation in Los Angeles.
Ghidini received her MFA at UC Berkeley, completed graduate studies at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI and received her BFA from Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT. Her exhibitions include those at Hunter College in New York City, San Francisco’s Museo ItaloAmericano, the Jewish Museum in San Francisco and the Maier Museum of Art in Lynchburg, VA. She has been awarded a Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Grant, a Pollock-Krasner Grant and artist residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA and the American Academy in Rome, Italy. She has also completed numerous public art commissions throughout Northern California and Colorado.
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