Reviews for Leaf Passage

Fitchburg Art Museum Catalog, Sept 1994

"Influenced by Architecture"

Artist's Statement
by Beth Galston

I am an artist who builds architectural-scale work using non-traditional materials. I respond to and transform certain aspects of architecture based on my interest in light and the quality of space. My installations are built on site and evolve through a process of improvisation. Using delicate materials--mirror, scrim, screen--and simple geometric shapes, I create multilayered environments through which viewers move and interact. Whether sited indoors, outdoors, or in the theater, the sculptures create a sense of place--a moment of magic or transformation.

The installation was inspired by the "connector" between the two museum buildings. I was drawn to this elongated space because of the heightened sense of perspective when looking down its length from doorway to doorway (due to the ramped floor and flat ceiling), and the floating quality created by the wall of windows. I wanted to use the passageway so that I could incorporated people's movement into the piece.

My starting image was to build a series of repeating walls, with doorways aligned with the existing doors, to create a feeling of procession as one moves through the passageway. The materials I chose are not plaster and stone, but translucent mesh, which interacts with light coming though the wall of windows. This creates two parallel worlds, one solid and one ephemeral. I also envision incorporating natural materials such as saplings or leaves in order to bring inside the view through the windows and soften the edges of the architecture. This first image will undoubtedly go through many changes as it is translated from my mind into real materials and space. --B.G.

Beth Galston is a sculptor and environmental artist who has shown her installations nationally in museums and galleries and has been involved in collaborative multimedia performances. She received her BFA in sculpture frorm the Kansas City Art Institute in 1977 and MS in Visual Studies from MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies in 1981 where she was a fellow for five years. Her major installations include "Tree/House," an outdoor architectural sculpture recently completed at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York City; "Aviary," a collaborative video/sculpture/dance performance at MIT's Media Lab; and "Lights Orot" at Yeshiva University Museum, New York City, for which she designed a large scale scrim fabric ceiling. Galston is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Massachusetts Artists Fellowship in Sculpture, an NEA InterArts award, and a two-year fellowship from the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe. She has taught sculpture and three-dimensional design at the University of New Haven and Montserrat College of Art, and is a frequent visiting artist and lecturer. Currently, Galston is at work on an outdoor sculptural environment for a private residence in Connecticut and an indoor light and shadow installation/performance. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.