From here to eternity 

Rebecca Lyon: Oh Rock’a My Soul
Galerie Penumbra
Through June 29


Can death be beautiful? Absolutely. Profoundly. If we didn’t already know this, artist Rebecca Lyon shows us with a serene dignity exemplified by her delicate stitches, weavings, bindings and suspensions that symbolize life’s transition into death.
Lyon’s collection of installations, Oh Rock’a My Soul, on view at Galerie Penumbra, gives us permission to talk about death as a rite of passage, a transcendent moment in time when one realizes an ending that signifies a beginning, whether this is what we believe or not.

Lyon, an Indianapolis-based artist with more expansive American geographical roots — she has studied and worked in New York, San Francisco and the Arizona high desert — has made a home here for many years now, and here she has honed her art from its early seeds sprung from studies in theater and costume design. Lyon’s textiles have always been lovely and more: They’ve spoken to inward and outward truths from an authentic, strong and yet vulnerable place. You could say Lyon searches for meaning with needle and thread, incorporating other materials and concepts, building and experimenting and taking risks. And the results in this case culminate Galerie Penumbra’s four-part series, In Her Element: The Art of Four Women, perfectly, epitomizing another truth: that artistic sensibility may or may not spring from an experience of maleness of femaleness, but if we can define an aesthetic experience from the standpoint of gender, then Lyon’s work is at the top of its form.

Few male artists choose to pick up needle and thread, after all, if they did, the results could be equally profound. But Lyon has done the good work here: bringing her own views, sensitivities and seeking to what she creates.

Six works comprise the exhibition, filling the gallery spaces like shimmering spider webs, holding and cradling and cherishing rather than snuffing out. “Release” alone spans half a gallery, its long, taut threads from floor to wall carrying the souls of the dead in tiny, perfectly constructed travois filled with pearly shrouds, small mounds containing the symbolic remains of departing souls. The effect is mystical, ephemeral: Reeds and bamboo form the armatures of these tiny hammocks, suggesting the Earth and its reach into the sky.

Lyon weaves the personal and the global with integrity and beauty. This is just what art is meant to be and to do.
Oh Rock’a My Soul, by Rebecca Lyon, is on view through June 29 at Galerie Penumbra, 1043 Virginia Ave. Call 317-508-8043 or visit www.galeriepenumbra.com for hours and information.

Latest in Visual Arts

  • First Friday reviews, April 2014
  • First Friday reviews, April 2014

    From a forest of thorns sticking out of a wall to a jellyfish hanging from a ceiling, First Friday offered a bestiary of lifeforms reflecting our fascinations and anxieties.
    • Apr 7, 2014
  • Rediscovering artist James Spencer Russell
  • Rediscovering artist James Spencer Russell

    With the help of a few local collectors, Indiana State Museum is reintroducing the world to the Indiana-born James Spencer Russell, once an up-and-comer on the NYC art scene.
    • Apr 2, 2014
  • William Forsyth: A Hoosier 'artist's artist'
  • William Forsyth: A Hoosier 'artist's artist'

    A new biography from IU Press makes a good case for artist, teacher and advocate Forsyth, a member of the "Hoosier Group" long overshadowed by T.C. Steele.
    • Mar 26, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Feedback

Recent Comments


Reader Reviews

More by Julianna Thibodeaux

© 2014 NUVO | Website powered by Foundation