A local sculptor is thinking the time is right to try and break into the local market.
Sydney Blum, of Tatamagouche, will have an exhibit in Halifax until the beginning of May. Icarus–Colour–Space will be shown at Studio 21 from March 29 to May 1. Studio 21 has represented Blum in New York for many years, and last year took Blum’s work to Chicago, Miami, and Toronto.
“I hadn’t shown in Halifax, we didn’t think it was the right time, but we are trying now,” said Blum. “I haven’t made inroads in Canada at all, but now we think the time is right.”
Blum has been working on the Icarus series for years. Up until the beginning of 2018, the series featured a black or graphite grid within the colour spaces.
“It was what was driving the contractions and the expansion of space,” the sculptor said. “It was the overlay to move the space, and in some ways it inspired me to form contractions.”
She created 13 pieces with the black grid. Six of those were shown in New York in previous years, and five were in international venues. The two others weren’t shown, however will be included in the Halifax exhibit. Blum will select from the group of the five to round out her Halifax show.
For the past year, Blum’s focus has changed a bit and she’s been incorporating a grid of gradient colour to the pieces.
“The dynamic has changed. It was bit of a eureka moment for me,” she said.
So far, she’s used the gradient for six of her pieces.
“(The grid and colour pieces) work with and against each other, allowing me to maximize colour. With the distortion of the grid, I can create movement in the flat plain and maximize the movement when I move into the colours.”
While she’s moved on with the gradient grid, Blum says she’s still attached to some of her original pieces.
“This is just a different part of the process, and a continuation in the process. I find these are more dynamic and vibrant.”
Each of Blum’s pieces takes about 250 total hours to create, and she says she has no idea how they will turn out in the end.
“So much can happen along the way. Sometimes I have to surrender to the piece itself. What it wants to do and what I want it to do are sometimes very different. Sometimes it’s a bit of a battle,” she said, admitting it takes more physical work the further along the piece gets.
Once formed, it’s still a bit of a struggle to have the piece hang right, and to find how she’s happy with lighting.
“It’s quite dynamic after it’s done, not just visually, but physically as well. The shadows are critical.”
Along with the Halifax exhibit, Blum’s pieces will then be on display at the Kim Foster Gallery in New York. ‘Both Sides of the Sky’ will run from May 9 to June 8.
Included in the exhibit will be a piece done as a pair, or a duet as Blum calls it.
“It was very different for me and I don’t know if I would do it again,” she admits. “There were so many unknowns in each piece. It made me very anxious.”
To catch Blum’s Icarus-Colour-Space exhibit, Studio 21 is located at 5431 Doyle St., Halifax. The Kim Foster Gallery is located at 529 West 20th Street, New York. More information on each can be found online: Studio 21 – http://studio21.ca/artists/sydney-blum/; Kim Foster Gallery – http://kimfostergallery.com/sydney-blum/. Anyone interested can follow Sydney Blum on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/sydneyblum.art/.