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Virtual Exhibition: Eric Serritella – Sharing Spaces

April 14 - December 3, 2022

Nature has always been at the core of my heart and my art. When I am in nature — in solitude — I feel grounded, focused, and inspired. The songs within each subject are what spark me creatively. Whether or not animals, trees, stones, or waterways are sentient, my interpretations aim at capturing their spirits, their breaths, and their soul-singings. Living surrounded by such muses allows a connection and intimacy to form that lets me engage directly with the flow of energies and vibrations I feel coming from them.

To experience nature only in books or on screens is to experience its subjects as nouns — as mere “things.”. To live amongst them is to know them as verbs — as dynamic actions. My sculptures seek to translate such actions into subconscious stories that I can tell with my hands. I create each piece as a conduit to emotion through inquiry, recognition, and familiarity. They serve as focal points for connection and resonance. Channeling and sharing nature’s private stories from this perspective allows otherwise hidden voices to be heard.

By suggesting the processes of aging and decay, my sculptures reveal how nature maintains its splendors with tenacity despite human indifference and neglect. I love how ceramic and glass can represent the environment’s fragility as well as its durability — how it is easily damaged if disrespected and yet invincible in its inherent beauty and longevity. Under the right conditions, the two media I work with can last for many thousands of years.

Each organic creation I make is filled with metaphors, both literal and implied. The anthropomorphic elements and naturalistic vessel forms I employ are meant to remind us that we humans are inseparable from our natural surroundings. In this regard I am strongly influenced by Asian tea culture. My works are often influenced and informed by Japanese concepts of wabi sabi and the nature-inspired Chinese Yixing teapots of the 1600s. Both traditions foster an awareness of the environment while seeking to affect viewers’ behaviors toward it.

If, through awakening consciousness, my work helps those who encounter it acquire new ways of seeing that encourage better appreciation of nature and if it leads to better ways of sharing space with the natural world, then I will feel like I have succeeded in doing what I set out to do. – Eric Serritella

Trompe l’oeil (pronounced tromp LOY) is a French phrase meaning “to deceive the eye,” often used to describe works of art that provide the illusion that they are real things. One of the earliest known examples was a bunch of grapes painted by the Greek artist Zeuxis about 2500 years ago, said to be so realistic that birds tried to eat them.

Virtual Tour by John Starbuck