Creative Commons License

UCSB MFA Thesis Exhibition
Art, Design, and Architecture Museum, Santa Barbara, CA
May 2016

"Vanesa Gingold’s sculptures convey an an ethic of mindful interconnectivity. Their principal form is a convex circular armature that is skinned with wetted handmade paper. As the paper dries it shrinks taut, stretching lines into its surface and pulling open clusters of holes. The effect is of something natural or grown, but what that is remains a mystery. Are they seed pods? Insect secretions? These associations only partially stick because the works are clearly made by hand. It is in this tactile aspect that the human and the creaturely interlace. Repetitive, pattern-based craft techniques, such as wrapping, braiding, and gathering, speak of semi-automated modes of work, wired into the body, that are not so different from those we often ascribe to the builders of nests and hives.

Lovely as these pieces are, they do have an edge. The paper skin is petal-like in its translucency, but also reminiscent of nerve-rich membranes from deep inside a body. In this latter view, stretching could signify pain. As such, the sculptures invite us to feel our place in nature, and to empathize with other life that shares our capacity for beauty and suffering."

- Holly Gore