Wk 12 – Artist Conversation- Sage Garver

Exhibition Information

Artist: Sage Garver

Exhibition: BIO

Media: Foam, Paint, Wire, Plastic Film

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery

Website: N/A

Instagram: N/A

About the Artist

Sage Garver is a senior at CSULB. This semester is her final semester before graduation. Currently, Garver is pursuing her BFA in the School of Art’s Sculpture program. Although Garver started her career in college as an Art major, she was originally interested in drawing and illustration. Eventually Garver picked sculpture as her concentration. Throughout her life, Garver has been through a few illnesses that inspired the idea for her exhibition. Sage thought of the idea for her exhibition last semester and it took her around a month to complete her exhibition.

Formal Analysis 

Upon entering the exhibition, one is greeted by a space of white walls. On the southern wall there is a little space where it is completely blank. Following the blank space are textured bumps in all types of shapes. Some of the bumps are round and without a texture while some are rounded and spiky textured. Other shapes resembles the Golgi apparatus of a cell. All of the shapes are third dimensional and white in color. In the middle of the room, there is a circle like sculpture made out of transparent material that reflects the colors of the rainbow. There are golden chains cascading from this sculpture. There is a golden fork hanging from one of the golden chains.

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Content Analysis

In her exhibition, Garver is exploring the human body and the illnesses that can affect the human body. The white walls represent the human body while the bumpy textured shapes represent the creeping illnesses. The clean part of the wall represents the human body that has not yet been affected by an illness. The sculpture in the middle is left for the viewer’s interpretation. One can think of  the sculpture  as the nucleus of the cell or the brain or perhaps the heart. Garver did not create the sculpture with anything in mind, she wanted the audience to live their experience and decide on their own if it reminded them of something or nothing at all. One thing that she did create with a meaning behind it was the fork. The fork represents all the things we ingest and put inside our bodies. Therefore, the title of the exhibition ties into the biological aspect of an illness and also the fact that our body can help narrate our biography.

Synthesis/My Experience

When I entered the exhibit, I was immediately drawn to the shiny and pretty sculpture in the middle. The colors reflected upon its’ transparent body really made it worthy of being the center of attention. Upon reading Garver’s statement, I immediately understood what the bumpy shapes represented. Personally, I found the shapes to resemble some of the cell’s organelles. I found a golgi apparatus, a vesicle and a ribosome. I thought that the center piece was supposed to represent a nucleus since it was in the center of exhibition, but I did overhear someone say that they thought it resembled the lungs. At that moment, I realized that it was up to the viewer to interpret the piece in whatever way they wanted.

Personally, I really liked this exhibition because it reminded me why I choose to be a Biology major when I first entered college. The human body is fascinating in many ways. I have always loved that the body  has a myriad  ways to defend itself from diseases. Sadly, not all diseases are able to be cured by our bodies or even by man made medicine which can lead to one feeling vulnerable. However, Graver choose to turn her frustration into an exhibition. I really enjoyed seeing Garver use illnesses as a narrative vehicle. If an illness leaves a mark on our body, then that mark will always be part of our body’s narrative. Much like stretch marks can become part of a pregnant woman’s body narrative, the visible and invisible mark left behind by an illness can become one too. Our bodies will always be a part of our biography.

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