You get a chance to sculpt with light, which is different that almost an other material.
*The exhibit, Luminous Forms, is inspired by Grand Cayman where the artist was born and spent many of his formative years. “This is water,”, said Davin Ebanks, standing next to a tall ocean-blue-colored sculpture with swirls and bubbles inside, smooth edges and a curved surface. “The color of the water where I’m from is a lot like this. I thought, what would it look like if I removed water from the surface of the air and the surface of the rippled sand that you get on the bottom of the ocean?”
Ebanks said, “you get a chance to sculpt with light, which is different than [almost] any other material. The more light you put on it the more intense the color, just like water and sunlight.”
On display are three distinct [but related] series: the Blue Meridian water series, blown glass self-portraits and the Luminous Form series.
Ebanks used the canvas of the self-portrait heads to print the pattern of lionfish—an invasive species eating [reef-cleaning fish and thereby] destroying the reefs in the Caribbean. On the gallery floor Ebanks placed two heads facing each other in self reflection, silently asking the question who is the invasive species? “After all, we brought them from the other side of planet Earth to the Caribbean,” Ebanks said. “They are from the Pacific. There’s no way they get there without humans.”
The fish pattern on the heads overflows into two other self-portraits of Ebanks’ enlarged oval-shaped thumb prints hanging on the gallery wall. On the other side of the gallery marble-like organic forms are enlarged versions of grans of sand, which are actually tiny living creatures [foraminifera] responsible for sequestering the carbon from prehistoric earth’s atmosphere so that it is now breathable to us humans.
“The thing about glass sculpture that’s interesting is if you want to make something organic or have tension I just have to blow or pull and it freezes, whereas if it was meal or wood I would have to carve it out—create the impression of those visual conditions. Glass is a very direct medium.”
*excerpt from article by Kelly Maile, record courier reviewer.
Luminous Forms is open through April 6, 2016 at the Kent State University’s Downtown Gallery in Kent, OH.