Dissolution – Disillusion

The Simon Mace Gallery welcomes NW sculptor, David Eisenhour, for the month of August.

Eisenhour’s elegant sculptures emerge into bronze, elevating the microscopic pteropod, while echoing the universal spiral. Each pteropod in the series exhibits progressive signs of degradation. An evolutionary tale is spun, an omen of portent for Planet Earth.

This series is informed by David’s study of ocean acidification and the effects on the flora and fauna. Relatively new research shows increased levels of carbon dioxide has been absorbed by the oceans, gradually altering the pH balance and disrupting the life cycles of shell-forming marine animals. Proven to inhibit shell development, higher acidity threatens many species, especially those closer to the surface.

“This is a commentary on the Human Race derailing the earth on a grand scale,” states Eisenhour.

He is exploring in three directions:

The Literal, represented by opportunistic jellyfish, moving in after the degradation of an ecosystem. They hang from the ceiling, jellyfish tentacles animated, undulating, against a backdrop of tidal creatures.

The Sardonic, in the form of “Terror-pods,” these creatures of David’s invention, appeal, he says to our “reptilian brains”.

The Ceremonial, represented by two striking “Pteropod Urns.” One urn holds sucker-studded octopus arms gracefully reaching upward, the other, curvaceous cattle horns carved with coral designs, representing Earth and Sea.

Juxtaposed with David’s bronze pteropods, is a series in cement mixed with coal, as a literal commentary on the devastating outcome of our fossil-fuel-dependent civilization.

An exciting aspect of David’s work for this show is his use of microscopes to bring the invisible world of plankton to light in his sculptures. Nina Bednarsek, a NRC Postdoctoral Fellow at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, provided David with images of pteropods, micro-scopic marine snails also known as sea butterflies. The images were shot with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and David referred to them in creating some of his sculptures. Even though pteropods are almost invisible to the human eye they play a major role in the marine food web. Pteropods are a staple food for pink salmon here in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Artists’ Reception and Gallery Walk, Saturday, August 3rd, 5:30-8:00pm.

David Eisenhour Sculpture, 26 July 2013. News release.

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