June 08 - August 23, 2019
Ocean Object, an exhibition featuring Madison based artist Sarah FitzSimons. FitzSimons' work often involves large-scale sculptures which interact with and derive meaning from their surroundings. With an interest in geology, her site specific sculptures reference oceans, deserts, mountain ranges and rivers. Ranging from temporary interventions to permanently placed objects, FitzSimons' work looks to reconnect our constructed culture with the wider patterns of nature.
Exhibited will be a piece called Pacific Quilt, a giant map-like quilt of the Pacific Ocean. As stated by the artist, Pacific Quilt is “a conceptual project taking textile form... an intermediary sculpture linking the intimacy of the bedroom to the vastness of the ocean.” Years in the making, Pacific Quilt spans 21 ft x 24 ft with one inch representing 25 miles. In translation from ocean to quilt, varying shades of blue fabric convey underwater topography and sewn quilt lines extend out in organic swirls to describe surface currents. As a performative object, Pacific Quilt is designed with the idea of working as functional bedding, “meant to be lived in and wrestled with.” The far reaching size of the quilt in a domestic space mimics the liveliness of water; it covers the bed, spills past its edges, floods the room and sprawls out the door. As a result, the familiarity of our day to day lives is metaphorically connected to that which is incomprehensibly vast—such as the ocean.
FitzSimons has developed site-specific projects for the Chicago Architecture Biennial; Farm Art DTour (WI); Djerassi Foundation (CA); Klemm Gallery (MI); Vadehavsfestival (Denmark); Casa da Inquisição Monsaraz (Portugal); Waldkunstpfad (Germany); Spaces Gallery (Cleveland); and the Hyde Park Art Center, (Chicago). Group exhibitions have included Alps Art Academy (Switzerland); Casa das Artes, Tavira (Portugal); Museum of Wisconsin Art; and Grand Rapids Art Museum (MI). FitzSimons is the recipient of an Efroymson Contemporary Art Fellowship, (2013), and grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Djerassi Foundation (CA); and Wadden Art Foundation (Denmark).
Her work has been featured by the PBS NewsHour, (American Creators Series, Nov 2018), and reviewed in Deezen Magazine, (London, UK); Azure Magazine (Toronto, CA); Chicago Magazine (IL); Define Magazine (Chicago, IL); and Modern Luxury (Silicon Valley CA); and is featured in the book: The Experience of Modern Sculpture: A Guide to Enjoying Works of the Past 100 Years (2015, Philip Palmedo). FitzSimons received her BFA in Sculpture from Ohio University, and holds an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles.