Noelle Allen: Osmia

March 30 – April 26, 2014
Reception: Sunday, March 30, 3 – 6pm
Curated by Karen Azarnia

The Riverside Arts Center is pleased to present Osmia, featuring new work by Noelle Allen. Osmia, more commonly known as the Mason Bee, refers to a genus of solitary bees found worldwide which construct their nests from clay(1). Much like the Mason Bee, Allen’s sculptural practice is intensely focused around the activities of building, casting and constructing. With a recent insurgence of color, the process‐based work incorporates a variety of materials including resin, concrete, wax, twigs and plaster.

It is no accident that Allen’s latest work coincides with the onset of spring. Influenced by nature and an abundance of natural fauna and organic materials found in her own garden, the work ranges from sculpture to installation and drawing. The resulting objects suggest notions of growth, metamorphism, and rebirth. At the same time, interesting tensions abound. Imperfect, rough surfaces and marred beauty hint at elements of decay. The physical materiality of the work alludes to organic structures, tissue, membranes, skin and bone. The materials used to construct the work also suggest a suspension of growth and time, as if the pieces have been preserved in a kind of otherworldly stasis. It is at once a wondrous and unsettling world Allen creates, where ardent curiosity with the natural world embodies both scientific observation and the imagination.

‐Karen Azarnia

1 Farlex Inc.,The Free Dictionary, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Osmia (accessed January 13, 2014).