Alice Gallery Showcases Wren Ross Works In New Exhibit
SALT LAKE CITY — The importance of cultural myths and their interpretation through current events is the inspiration for a new exhibit by Wren Ross at the Alice Gallery in Salt Lake City.
Sticks Laid in Patterns and Other Mundane Oracles: Works by Wren Ross, presented by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, will show at the Alice Gallery from July 14th through Sept. 8th. An artist’s reception will be held Aug. 18th from 6-9 p.m. for Gallery Stroll. The Alice Gallery is located at 617 E. South Temple and is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sticks Laid in Patterns and Other Mundane Oracles is a works-on-paper exhibition by Wren Ross that asks viewers to re-evaluate their everyday surroundings and circumstances. Ross drew inspiration from communities built upon oral storytelling traditions and those who rely on reworking cultural myths to inform their futures. In many ways ancient mythologies behave like oracles. They impart morals and values and remind people how to nourish and support each other. These mythologies present a body of symbols and allegory to provide clues that viewers can glean meaning and direction from. Historically, whole disciplines of divination were taught to help human beings navigate the natural and social world. They interpreted their surroundings and natural occurrences. Tracks, tea leaves, and weather phenomenon could be read, water could be found, and spirits could be appeased. This inbuilt economy of noticing and decoding allowed people to develop and maintain intimate relationships with the places they inhabited.
This relationship to myth and symbol has waned in contemporary culture. In a time when community values are being called into question and politics are often synonymous with fear or confusion, the development of new heroes, new symbols, and new myths is increasingly important. Because myth is bound by current events, it requires reinterpretation and revision to remain useful.
Sticks Laid in Patterns and Other Mundane Oracles is a body of work about choreographing contemporary myths and introducing new archetypes. It is an experiment in the development of stories through an aggregate of symbols, landscapes, and mythological figures to be interpreted by the viewer. These interpretations ask to be told and retold, to morph and shift from viewer to viewer. This body of work s meant for contemplation as the images and stories become connected and grow in meaning. These pieces seek to encourage dialogue and taught to others, to be secreted around quietly, and to be reworked powerfully in mundane moments.