Ceramist Rebekah Bogard skillfully creates colorful dream worlds that confront the viewer with contradictions. In her latest installation “Heaven,” Bogard has transformed the interior of an old bank vault into a botanical garden from another world. Jewel toned jagged leafed plants with extended limbs tower over the mystical forest floor, scattered with botanical specimens lit from within like little campfires. Warm candlelight projects into the space from leaf shaped sconces along the walls.
The fire becomes an element of the installation; light emanates from inside the plants to fend off the surrounding darkness. “As humans,” stated the artist, “we must carry our own light to guide us through uncertain terrain, both physically and metaphorically. After going through uncertain times, I learned to foster my own light from within. Fire is used as a metaphor for self assurance as well as a torch used for metaphysical guidance.”
This installation is a departure from Bogard’s typical exploration of animal subjects. In “Heaven” there are still animals, mostly in the shadows, but they are no longer large scale or brightly glazed. Many of the rodent sized creatures are dark and gremlin-like, and those that are not appear to be simply observers of the room. This mystical garden oasis is a welcome retreat into the artist’s vision of heaven on earth.
“Heaven” is on view at the American Museum of Ceramic Arts in Pomona CA until November 16th.
All photos, courtesy of the artist’s website www.rebekahbogard.com.