Review: Bits and Pieces at the Indianapolis Art Center 

A review of Katie Hudnall's sculpture work at the IAC

click to enlarge "Sea Sloom" by Hudnall
  • "Sea Sloom" by Hudnall

I love the Little Free Libraries along the Monon Trail where you can leave or take a book.

I also love Katie Hudnall's book sharing station, "Nautilus" at Eskenazi Health. Her sculpture is part of the Public Collection, which debuted last summer.  (The Public Collection was inspired by the Little Free Library movement.) Looking something like a hybrid between the Cutty Sark and a giant mollusk, made largely made from reclaimed wood, "Nautilus" doesn't neglect its functional application: ample book shelf space.

RELATED: Photos of the Public Collection: 8 pieces of public artwork/lending libraries

Some of her works in this exhibition, like the aforementioned work, are functional, others not so much. Her mixed media sculpture "A Half Month's Worth," is a Rube Goldberg Project by way of M.C. Escher, a work that tempts gravitational forces to upend it.        

Then again, "Sea Sloom" smoothly merges imagination with functionality. With its interior spaces that close off with hatches, it could work well as a storage unit. It's also painted with what look like superannuated nautical charts, and is fitted with porthole windows. With a few modifications, it looks like it could float on the open water.

But it's Hudnall's works on paper that allow her imagination free rein. In the etching "Umbrella City" you see a right-side-up umbrella and an upside down one.  They contain between them an otherworldly city like a clamshell.

Be sure to check out the pen and ink drawing "Schematic for the Library of Things," which seems to comprise a conveyer belt leading to (or from) a library as gravity-defying as any blueprint by architect Frank Gehry.

Just how is this conveyer belt supposed to operate? Only Hudnall would know. I certainly wouldn't bet against her building something like this.

Bits and Pieces 
Indianapolis Art Center through January 30,
820 E. 67th St.,


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