Momento Gaudium: Sigma Vitae

Momento Gaudium: Sigma Vitae is a collaborative, three day exhibition, by the two year ceramic residents Zara Davis and Karlene Kantner. Translated to Remember Joy: Signs of Life, the show will feature intricate paintings and vessels as well as figurative sculpture imbued with themes of joy, pain, strength and new beginnings. Davis' figurative sculpture and paintings utilize floral symbology and mythology to connect expressions of life, death and the sublime. Kantner’s ceramic vessels and floral design facilitate an audaciously joyful experience.  As a body of work, the show invites the audience and artists alike to actively transform during a troubling and unprecedented time.

Plants and flowers as symbols are inherently fascinating, they are connected to so many points in history and so many cultures that their use seems universal. Plants are a fantastic conveyance for meaning. Their very nature is connected to both life and death. Although individual plants hold specific meanings, plants as a whole convey both a sense of joy and youth as well as the inevitability of decay and death. They act as a natural representation of our own life cycle. They can be strong and hearty yet fragile and delicate, an inherent dichotomy shared with humanity. This idea really resonates and can be seen throughout art history. One has simply to look at a Momento Mori painting to understand its commentary on the human condition.Taking inspiration from this symbolic duality, the body of work created for Momento Gaudium: Signa Vitae explores themes of joy, pain, strength and new beginnings. Through a combination of three-dimensional form and two dimensional illustration, floral symbology and mythology are utilized to connect expressions of life, death and the sublime.This floral language is intended as a representation and catharsis for the struggles and pain inherent in life while also acting as a means of adding beauty to the world - connected to and transcendent of this time in which it was created. The idea of imagery that can be beautiful for its own sake or representative to those who are aware of its meaning is extremely alluring. The history of plant symbology is deeply intertwined with history and mythology. For this show I filtered my inspirations through this botanical lens.

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