May 26, 2011

Sensual Fibers at Blackfish Gallery

Walking along NW 9th Ave. in the Pearl, it's hard to miss the sensual and delicate work provocatively displayed in the window of Blackfish Gallery. Sally Hayden Gilmore's sculptural pieces are funny in an innocent way, and yet complicated in an evolutionary biology kind-of-way, like a flora-fauna creature from a fantastical and colorful world.

Her work is a playful interpretation of sexuality, but, as Gilmore expresses it, "not in terms of political correctness or social structures, but as the natural world knows it: a wondrous force too powerful and beautiful to ignore." With bulbous protrusions and soft, feathery patterns, Gilmore evokes the ways that nature seduces itself.
The window beckons the visitor to come inside in hopes of seeing more of Sally Hayden Gilmore's work, and perhaps getting closer to it without the glass cooling and distancing the warmth and gentleness of the fibers. But alas, Gilmore is a guest artist and this teaser of her work is all we get. Perhaps we will see more of this Portlander's work in the near future.

Blackfish Gallery (420 NW 9th Avenue) is a cooperative gallery run by thirty artist members, who show in the space throughout the year. The gallery also offers one of its external exhibition windows along 9th Avenue, "Fishbowl 2," for the work of guest artists. There is an ongoing open call to artists for submissions for the Blackfish Window Project. Blackfish Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 5pm.

Both images are from Sally Hayden Gilmore's website, where you can see much more of her work.
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