Sally Heller Ab-Scrap

January 22, 2010 – February 27, 2010 Project Space Gallery
Sally Heller explores, and exposes, the glut of a consumer-oriented society by building an abstract landscape installation using scraps and other found materials including netting, plastic flowers, cardboard, coat hangers and blanket scraps-cultural remnants of our everyday lives.A curtain made of chain surrounds parts of the landscape, broken up into swags, creating large negative spaces.The negative spaces are covered with tulle and opaque material, functioning as a device that lures the viewer to peek inside through its few openings which will break to form a single entrance.A video of a swamp scene, projected onto the landscape introduces the viewer to the relationship between real nature and its artificial counterpart

Artist Statement

“I have always been fascinated with the potential of mass-marketed products when viewed outside of their intended context. I am interested in what our culture discards and what can be made from this detritus.

My installations resemble deconstructed nature or unraveling gardens. Trees, walls, weeds, and vines are built out of low-end consumer goods such as wire, pipe cleaners, monofilament, and fingernails—objects that appear weightless and ephemeral. Applied to this minutiae is labor-intensive handiwork. Twisting, threading, and knotting elevates the materials to a status of importance and transforms these quotidian objects into something sensory and memorable.

I often use images that have a visual correlation to the materials. Some of the images found repeatedly in my work are pin-up girls, words, videos, alphabet letters, houses, and birds. My work is influenced by mass-produced culture—what is marketed globally and cheaply, what is made in third-world countries and how we have come to be blinded by the social inadequacies in the wake of convenience and material gluttony.

Uplifting in my installations is the ethereal quality of the structures and their tendency to appear barely visible. Web-like shapes are used as connectors between elements creating irregular and circular negative spaces. Likened to multiplying molecular cells, these spaces define and frame numerous perspectives of the work. Curtain made of planes of mesh expands into the ‘nature setting’ until one morphs into the other; spatial ambiguity created by transparent fabric clouds the boundary between floor and wall.

Color and wit are important parts of my work; in the process of laboring over the various intricacies of these scraps of material, one can’t help but find humor in the elevation of such ephemera. My process in juxtaposing these elements is one of discovery, where control is replaced by the unexpected.”