Various Small Fires is pleased to present Amelia Lockwood's Eighth Lane, the artist's first time presenting with the gallery.
Where is home again? The unknown home is the one you're always moving towards, the one you haven't lived in yet but dream of. Lodged between lucid dreams and foggy memories, there you'll find a garden.
In her short story, A True Garden (1971), Helen Cixious describes a place with war in its skyline; at its center sits a garden. "I had a name," she wrote. "The town had a name, and everybody had one except the garden, which was simply the garden because there was only one." The garden is primordial and mystical; it becomes her universe and she molts into the dirt itself. She absorbs her environment by both emotional and alchemical means.
Similarly, when the Surrealist painter Leonora Carrington suffered a mental breakdown in Spain at the outset of the Nazi invasion, she met her trauma by imagining a world filled with gardens. In her fevered mind and far from home, she imagined herself as the earth and like Cixous, she reimagined home as a place you never leave—no matter how many times you replant your roots, the dirt from the garden remains.
Against the backdrop of chaos, the garden is a fresh den to hide from all that, to compost the detritus of dreams into the plants and dirt. The garden is a metaphor for home, for the self, for all the hours moved through slowly as if by candlelight.
The work in Eighth Lane feels pulled from the realm of Cixous and Carrington's gardens, a realm where layers of the heart and self are geological, a place where fire is not contained by the candlestick. Amelia Lockwood's built universe is marked by motifs: figure eights and infinity signs; compasses; flames blooming like tulips; nesting rings; the unfurled wings of swans; orbiting planets; and of course, candles.
Each of Lockwood's candelabras (or labras) represent an unknown home, each hewn in different moods in a Southern California gothic style where architectural elements overlap with the animalistic and organic. Throughout is Lockwood's sensitivity to clay itself: evidence of mark-making; raw textures high fired so as to be volcanic, making for perdurable objects, meant to weather the sun outdoors in a plaza or a lush solarium. With heft and presence, weight and resilience, Eighth Lane represents a collection of sculptures from a speculative map of melancholic and fantastical sun-drenched dwellings, ones that may or may not exist, plucked from a garden buried deep in time. — Angella d'Avignon
Amelia Lockwood (b.1990, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania,lives and works in Los Angeles) is a visual artist whose practice privileges gestural language to produce objects that are reflections of our energetic surroundings. Lockwood received her BFA from Syracuse University, completed post-bac studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and received her MFA from The University of California, Los Angeles in 2020. She has held solo exhibitions at Odd Ark LA and Maia’s Pool, Los Angeles, California. Selected group exhibitions include Various Small Fires, James Wright Gallery, In Lieu, One Trick Pony, Tiger Strikes Android, and Five Car Garage Gallery in Los Angeles amongst others.