TANYA CLARKE’S ELECTRIC STORMS
By Elizabeth Patterson
Tanya Clarke wears many hats. An actress who has appeared in several TV shows including “Glee” and the currently filming “Banshee”, she trades in her thespian cap for her artist one with her new exhibition Electric Storm. The daughter of an environmental activist, this upbringing helped shaped Clarke’s artistic creations – a portion of sales from her work goes to water conservation efforts worldwide.
Inspired by the contrast between the natural environment and the man-made one, Clarke’s works feature faucets dripping lighted water, creating an impossible combination of two vital necessities of modern life. Her series, called “Liquid Light”, have been ongoing. Hand-sculpted glass provides the elongated water droplets that are hallmarks of her work. In vivid shades of ocean blue, icy white, audacious pink and fiery red, the droplets are a stunning visual feat that demand attention and examination. Combined with industrial faucets or lighting fixtures, the contrast between the intended fluidity of water and the hard, rusted and manufactured pipes and faucets create a delicate song of rough and smooth, hard and soft. This mood is intensified by the water’s transformation – being represented as encased in tough but equally as fragile glass. Clarke’s work immediately catches the eye either because of their paradoxical being or their illuminated beauty, and the Miyazaki feeling of magical realism is something you’ll want to experience for yourself.
Electric Storm runs until August 30, 2015 at the AFA Gallery of SoHo.