Reviews for Ice Forest (Studio)

The Middlesex Beat, January 2005

"Naturally Inclined: Beth Galston"

by Katherine French


Although it was late spring when I made my first visit to Beth Galston's studio, icicles hung down from the rafters. Not just one or two. Instead, a whole forest of glittering strands fell from the ceiling of an old industrial building on Vernon Street in Somerville. As I got closer, a path opened up and it was possible for me to step inside this frozen landscape to discover that the ice was in fact hard resin, cast to resemble the stems of a rose. Most hung straight in this piece entitled Ice Forest, but inside was a tangled vine, which impeded further progress. Sharp thorns covered both the straight and twisted stems. I was caught inside an environment that was both fragile and dangerous, forced to consider the light filled growth which surrounded me.

Beth Galston's early reading of fairy tales obviously left its mark. Much of her art is concerned with a door opening up or a path leading into her imagined world, a fantastical world that engages the viewer. Instead of pausing to look at Galston's work, we are invited to physically enter and then consider the experience. "My pieces create a sense of place," the artist states, "a moment of magic or transformation." They also explore the scale of the human body in relationship to the space she creates, spaces which can be strictly defined or go on forever.