Cindee Travis Klement and Will Isbell Preview of Symbiosis

October 10, 2020 – November 1, 2021 Mary E. Bawden Sculpture Garden

About the Exhibition

In Symbiosis, local artists and garden experts Cindee Travis Klement and Will Isbell collaborate in Lawndale’s Mary E. Bawden Sculpture Garden to create a work of living land art that introduces local color, texture, and variation through a variety of native plants. The piece will reimagine the urban landscape and answer the question: how do we holistically restore an ecological balance that can coexist in Houston with nature in an art venue? Symbiosis will be a catalyst for change.

About the Artists

Houston-based artist Cindee Travis Klement works in sculpture, mixed media, and printmaking to consider the interrelationships of the human and natural worlds, and the energy and movement behind quotidian events. Trained in graphic design, she worked for decades in commercial real estate and home construction before beginning her career as an artist. In the processes of construction, she learned the techniques and materials of rebuilding and designing domestic spaces; she studied ferrocement faux bois with master craftsman Donald Tucker. This French technique of sculpting concrete to mimic wood connected her material interest in sculpture with her lifelong passion for the natural world and, specifically, the landscapes of her native Texas. Klement subsequently began working in bronze casting, eventually developing a body of sculptural work made from wire and rebar, covered in stainless steel lath, plaster, hydro stone, and various rusted wire cloths. Klement considers how her materials and their relationships to light and shadow might capture the spontaneous movements and dynamic gestures of the world around us. She approaches her sculptures as drawings in space. 

Inspired by M. Thomashow, who writes, “Record natural history to the collective memory so that it is no longer endangered knowledge,” much of Klement’s recent work has been about conservation issues, looking specifically at bees, at waterways, and at recovery from Hurricane Harvey. She is currently working on Endangered Knowledge: The Soul of Humus, for Sculpture Month Houston 2020 that researches and represents the deep environmental interrelationships between bison and grass. With each subject Klement addresses, she considers her audience, their environment, and what materials will speak to them. She looks at each body of work and adapts her artistic processes or creates new methods with which to develop her narratives. In World of Hum, Klement ripped and wrangled rusted wire cloth, then delicately stitched the wire fragments into biospheres of frail and vulnerable abstract wild bees. With hydro stone and shadows, Klement kinetically unveiled the unintended consequences of forcing natural processes into an industrial model. Since World of Hum, Klement has expanded her focus to starting conversations that will ultimately reimagine urban landscapes to work with natural forces. 

Among other subjects, she has made sculptures that capture a hat blowing in the wind, a dog shaking water from its fur, a violinist performing, and a person rescuing a pig from floodwaters, always looking to the emotional energy and dynamism of often-unnoticed moments. Klement believes that if you want to change the world, you will capture the moments that set the right examples. Her work is in the Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport Collection and the Houston Flood Museum, and her sculptures have been featured in the 2019 Sculpture Month Houston SITE Gallery Houston exhibit. She completed the Glassell BLOCK Program at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 2018 and maintains a studio at Bermac Arts in Houston.

Will Isbell bio forthcoming.