Deon Blackwell

Undercurrent Arts

November 12, 2007

Deon Blackwell

Body of Salt

December 1 – 21, 2007

Opening Reception

Saturday, December 1, 7-10:30PM

Art Fair Reception

Saturday, December 8, 8-11:30PM

Undercurrent Arts

2563 N. Miami Avenue

Miami, FL 33127

Tel. 305.571.9574

Fax 305.371.8699

[email protected]

Undercurrent Arts is pleased to present the solo exhibition of Deon Blackwell, “Body of Salt”.

This installation is composed of a massing of “chandeliers” created from clay and salt that are suspended at multiple heights. The clay forms a symbiotic relationship with the salt wherein the salt is applied to the ceramic material and breaks down the clay body from the inside out; much like cancer does to a human. The re-growth of the salt crystals after their previous form has been destroyed is a balance to the destruction that the

salt causes.

Initially these pieces have the appearance of traditional chandeliers, but upon further study one notices chandelier arms reaching out into space seem more like outstretched fingers or appendages seeking life or giving in to the process of death. With each passing object, the form of the ceramic understructure becomes more and more organic and flowing. Crystals and glass give way to entrails of salt stockings and burn marks in the salt. Symmetry gives way to heavy swollen ends of torso or bits of fingernails. White gives way to spills of color alluding to red blood, blue veins and yellow bile. Colors do not take the conversation away from the material nature of salt, but add more substances of the body to the references that are made by the salt’s own processes. The salt is body and the body is salt.

The overall group of chandeliers then becomes a loose system of body parts, organs, and other bodily functions. The viewer is engulfed in a space where they can witness these objects deteriorating and growing all at once, in a space that could be in stasis or rebirth. The works in this exhibition were inspired by experiences Blackwell had several years ago when multiple members of his immediate family passed away from various self destructive causes. The turmoil that ensued led him to materials that mimicked the physical changes that he was witnessing in his family.

Deon Blackwell was born in Pensacola, Florida and currently lives and works in Tampa.

For further information please contact Margaret Kosyk at 305-571-9574 or [email protected]