Looking Back and Seeing Now
New Work by Lava Thomas
July 11 – August 23, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 11, 5 pm - 7 pm
West Coast artist Lava Thomas has created a site-specific installation that transforms the gallery into a unique site of reflection. The exhibition centers on a kinetic installation comprised of over one hundred tambourines suspended dramatically from the gallery's ceiling. The tambourines are affixed with eyes that are depicted in large-scale drawings based on photographs from Thomas' grandmother's photo album. Mirrors incorporated into the space and relative position is continually subject to the mirrors' gentle rotations.
Looking Back and Seeing Now challenges the viewer to consider the tambourine not only as a simple instrument used in folk and gospel music, but also as a tool of protest and a repository for resistance and hope. The tambourine provided the rhythm for protest songs ad marches during the civil rights movement. It also recalls the complicated role that the church has played as a locust of community. Together, the drawings and the installation serve to connect past and present, artist and audience, in an ongoing revelation of shared histories, struggles and aspirations.
The exhibition is generously supported by the City of Berkeley and Rena Bransten Projects.