Art museum ablaze in landscape of molten lava

title view of Terra Ignis by Gerri Sayler at Nicolaysen Art Museum

Two weeks ago, I opened a new site-specific installation at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, WY. I was invited to respond to the Wyoming landscape for “The Nature of Things” (January 24 to April 27) was one of three artists. The show was funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation. Thanks, Andy!

See gallery of images for Terra Ignis (Latin=Earth Fire).

shadow detail of Terra Ignis art installation by Gerri Sayler at Nicolaysen Art Museum

I’m still feeling the warm glow of mission accomplished. This work is a HUGE milestone for me. I said goodbye to my beloved hot glue gun—at least for awhile—in favor of working with other materials.

Inspired by the Yellowstone Caldera, I set out to abstractly render this fabled landscape. I wanted to capture the red hotness and  molten blackness that I associate with this, simmering, subterranean super volcano, which is overdue for an eruption, say scientists.

My materials? Hand scrunched, wire-basted black aluminum mesh and machine stitched red satin over plastic tubing. The contrast of the crustiness and silkiness, folded and flowing, it worked for me.

When I wasn’t on the lift, I was dancing around the space, swinging my arms, trying to map flow lines that felt just right.  I remember thinking: ahhhhhh, this is how it must feel to be an abstract expressionist! Using space as my canvas, my arms as brush, materials as my paint. All the while, feverishly improvising on site.  Trusting my instincts.  Somehow knowing where and how.

After five years of working the grid with hot glue installations … it was a rush!  I should have seen this coming. Didn’t.  Yet, I did, sort of.  But that’s something I’ll talk about in upcoming blog posts. I want to go back and recap my inspiration and process for this work.    
Another day.

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