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New Light Art: “Grow Heart” Opens at Vermillion Jan. 12

Posted by January 12th, 2023 No Comments »

Grow Heart Light Art Installation
January 12-31 @ Vermillion Gallery
Seattle, Wash.
By John Theroux

“Grow Heart” is a garden of light and shadows emanating from treeform, crystallized structures knit by artist Ray (nee Kelly Fleek), with visuals created by myself, John Theroux (Blazinspace). We were inspired by the root-like structure of the human circulatory system and the resiliency of the human heart. Musical inspirations and accompaniment have been provided by Noel Brass Jr.

This poem I wrote explains the installation:

My heart is Here 
For You  
Planted within the Tree,
Growing Boundless, in Space  
Rays of Light, Blaze a new Path
They Breathe
For You
A Boundless Heart

Ray (nee Kelly Fleek) is a multi-disciplinary artist and member of the local electro-rock band The Spider Ferns. She is also the maven behind Lo Flux Media in Seattle. Fleek’s work has been featured in Buzzfeed, Vogue Knitting Live, the LUSIO festival, Kollabora Magazine, Stackedd Magazine, The Seattle Times, Vanguard Seattle, Three Imaginary Girls, Respect My Region, the Whatcom Art Museum, and more.

Ray works in sculpture, painting, textiles, installation, photography, and music. Her work is the sum of a love affair with the commonality in both the smallest and largest elements of life. Her wearable textiles ask individuals to touch them, to become sculpture. She believes that wearing and viewing this work activates our inseparable connections to our shared surroundings. From her series “Nature Drag: wearing nature, being nature” or her latest multiple series’, “Cocoon: small transformations” and “Intimate Organica’, these pieces reflect Fleek’s interpretation of the natural forms in and around us all.  

The ‘Grow Heart’ collaboration sees Ray continuing the exploration of their series “Intimate Organica: beyond reproduction,” intertwined with elements of her “Cocoon” series -weaving the discussions of spiritualized, intimate public spaces she calls ‘rooms’: textile sculptures that provide a soft landing for the mind, a space for contemplation and meditation on embodiment and self. The viewer experiences tendrils of crystalized knit pieces drooping languidly from her piece “Coeur d’ Branch: in flux,” drawing the viewer into Fleek’s emotional landscape of exploring her recent hysterectomy and bilateral-salpingectomy surgery, procreation, sexual orientation, genderfludity and emotional turmoil the artist faced as they worked to unravel decades of physical, sexual and emotional trauma during the many months leading up to the surgical event that was postponed multiple times due to the 2021-22 pandemic surge. Towering sentinels from her “Cocoon” series stand sentry with pulsing crystal forms atop each one -a beacon of invitation to experience the loving friendship shared between Blazinspace and Ray. 

Through this work, again we have been called to look at how and where we place our energies, focusing in our lives, and shifting the lens to smaller joys —stepping further into the artist’s celebration of Becoming Ray.  

Blazinspace is a pseudonym I use for my artwork. I use digital projectors and light to transform space into an immersive experience. As a VJ, I have performed live visuals with bands and DJs for eight years in Seattle at over 250 events. I am also a filmmaker and producer, co-producng a surreal comedy, art share, live stream called WEIRD at NIGHT on Converge Media every Saturday Night at 10 p.m. I SHINE A LIGHT and I ATTACK WITH LOVE.

Grow Heart opens at Vermillion on January 12 at 5 p.m. and is showing all month long. Please stop by and let us know what you think.

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