As you float through Gerri Saylerʼs luminous, nearly translucent, serenely enveloping installation at Suyama Space, you may find yourself making small swimming motions. To pass between the suspended strands of what looks like crystallized surf, a gentle breaststroke works well. To navigate under the lower strands, which appear to undulate up and down like waves, do a little dive, as though bobbing underwater for a glimpse of life below the surface. Sayler would probably not be surprised to see visitors swimming through her installation Nascent, which is, after all, about water. MORE
Inspired by Seattle’s maritime history, Sayler re-imagines Suyama Space as the wood-planked hull of a vintage clipper. Struck by the residue of past lives layered over the space (fire-blackened timber ceiling, pock-marked floor, mineral encrusted concrete walls), she has created an installation that bridges the built environment and the natural world. The unlikely material of hot glue, cascading in 2,000 fibrous ribbons, evokes the Northwest coast’s watery landscape. Walking into the gallery feels like stepping into frothy waves of surf, as these “frozen” translucent strands skew perception and bend material reality.
Hot glue is just inherently nasty—the stuff of craft-making burns and unscheduled visits to the ER. Only when the translucent goo is safely inert does it become interesting, as in the 2,000 tentacles of Nascent. Suspended on wires overhead, illuminated by skylight above, Gerri Sayler’s dangling installation suggests coral, icicles, and stalactites. Each delicate, twisted strand has been halted in time, cooled into curly stasis. Yet however irregular and unique each pendulous cord may be, they all hang in regular rows that undulate like sine waves that both block and accommodate your path. (The architects at Suyama have to be able to walk across the atrium, after all; and no one wants dried glue in their hair.) MORE
It rained for a solid four months inside the Boise Art Museum this year, a steady downpour of weirdly acrobatic precipitation, capturing and materializing shafts of sunlight during cloud breaks, haunting the place at night. At least, that is how it seemed while Idaho artist Gerri Sayler’s site-specific installation, Ad Infinitum, graced BAM’s Sculpture Court.
Upon closer inspection, the transparent, loopy strands of solidified glue, so responsive to air currents and human presence, assumed a lightweight, zany energy. The work was elemental, ethereal, playful, even spiritual; all characteristics we have been seeing more and more of in sculpture recently. As with a number of works that have inhabited this space for lengthy periods, when Ad Infinitum closed, we felt a sense of loss, evidence that it had touched something within us that is apparently starved for attention. MORE