January 4-27, 2002
Friday, January 4, 7:00-10:00pm
Carolyn Henne creates a site-specific, mixed-media installation in the Main and Skylight Galleries
Sponsored by Main Art Gallery & Frame
1537 W. Main Street
THERE'S HERE - A Site Specific Installation at Artspace by Carolyn L. Henne
The installation, There's Here, is a contemplation of the
here and now via a cartoonish sort of depiction of the afterlife.
Responding to the unique architectural space of Artspace, Carolyn Henne
has created an environment in which the visitor moves through hell and
into the heavens but never actually enters earth.
The installation occupies the two large galleries on the 1st and 2nd
floors, the mezzanine and the opening in the ceiling of the 1st floor
gallery and the floor of the 2nd
floor gallery. The downstairs gallery is the "underworld" or "hell",
the upstairs is the "heavens", and "earth" is suspended between.
enters the installation downstairs - "hell". A "flaming" chaise is the
centerpiece. As one lays down on the heated surface, one's perspective
changes, looking up at a transparent floating figure beyond which are
two tiers of turbines with a fan in the middle. The fan fills the
fabric sphere that is "earth". The whole downstairs space will be alive
with movement caused by the fan pulling the air from that space. When
one rises, one's trace remains in the flames of the chaise. The chaise
is made up of several layers of pinmented gels and petroleum jelly (each
having different viscosities, moving at different rates when
responding to the weight and heat of the body).
Moving to the second floor, one enters the "heavens" where there
are a number of elevated chairs. Each chair is upholstered in white.
When one sits, wings will inflate and remain inflated until one stands
up. Viewed from the heavens, in the center of the opening is "earth".
is an animation projected onto the surface of "earth" from the inside.
Inside the sphere are two tiers. On each are 23 lamps with rotating
lamp "shades". This results in 46 separate rotating and projected
images. Because the sphere acts as a shared projection screen, images
overlap and melt into one another. The first tier is a series of
landscape images, giving the sense that the "earth" is turning. The
second tier is a series of 23 cartoon portraits of the artist - from
infancy to age 90.
The main reason I am drawn to installation is to slow
viewer interaction and to allow a time-released experience. I would like
my viewers/visitors to linger long enough to get to the point of
responding to the piece almost peripherally, surrationally - as when
one daydreams. This provides opportunities for ideas/feelings to
perhaps sneak up or just be recognized
To accommodate this I use several strategies. I fabricate
low-tech devices. The viewer has to spend little time marveling at the
feat. One gets past that quickly but the image is still compelling. I
also use low-key interactive elements that change as the visitor moves
through the space or sits down. Sitting allows a change of perspective;
the viewer becomes less self-aware, and may spend more time in the
Carolyn Henne is a Richmond-based sculptor. She studied
Architectural Design and Economics as an undergraduate at the College of
William and Mary. At 24, she left her job as an agricultural economist
to study art in the south of France - a summer pursuit that stretched
into another year's work at Lacoste School of the Arts. She returned to
the states and completed her graduate work in Sculpture at Virginia
Commonwealth University in 1990. She has shown her work widely and
also regularly shows in Richmond, supporting her studio work with
prop-making, custom fabrication, and teaching.
E-mail Carolyn Henne
Additional Information including stills and video as well as resume, statements and more available online: