Virginia Wilcox: Arboreal
Virginia Wilcox’s project Arboreal, considers the natural landscape in an environment that continually changes due to urban growth and transition. Focusing on the hillsides of Los Angeles, her black and white capture of trees and flora is interrupted by the encroachment of humans, affecting the urban ecological spectrum in ways large and small. We reconsider our definition of landscape as pastoral and calming, now challenged by objects, structures, and behaviors that are certainly less than beautiful. Arboreal opens at Los Angeles’ Actual Size Gallery January 27th from 7-10 pm. The show will run through March 11th, 2018.
Virginia Wilcox lives and makes work in Los Angeles. She received an MFA from University of Hartford’s Low-Residency Program in 2017 and a BFA in photography from Bard College in 2008. She has shown work in galleries and public art installations throughout the United States including Joseloff Gallery,Hartford; Glass Box Gallery, Seattle; Slideluck, LA; the Hedreen Gallery, Seattle; and Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle.
Arboreal, defined as “living in trees”, is a body of work comprised of photographs taken in Los Angeles parks, primarily Elysian Park. At first look, these images present a survey of trees inhabiting a mangled urban landscape that looks something like wilderness. The photographs are formal studies, primarily concerned with texture, dimension, depth, division of space, lines, and organic shapes. Light wraps itself around objects contained by carefully constructed frames. Within the frame, location, scale and time are brought into question.
These images share my way of seeing while serving as meditations on place. Within each frame there exists a tension between beautiful, formal landscape and frequent interruptions of everyday objects – sewer drains, concrete pathways, trash – reminders from the sprawling city below. This juxtaposition is mirrored in the images themselves: amidst the density of intersecting forms and vistas, a suggestion of infinity invites the viewer to look further while questioning what is beautiful in the contemporary landscape. – Virginia Wilcox
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