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Heaven: Rebekah Bogard

September 13 - November 16, 2014

 

The American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) is presenting Heaven: Rebekah Bogard in the Vault exhibition space. Bogard presents whimsical floral sculptures with deep jewel tones and oversized plant life to create a fantasy space illuminated by fire-lit sconces.

After spending many years imagining and creating fauna, which populated her fantastic world, the artist now devotes her attention to the flora. Her animals are now relegated to the background to embellish the floral compositions.

Heaven represents a vision informed by a personal journey. Questioning our common portrayals of Heaven, the artist developed a personal understanding that "Heaven is a vision lit from within." For Rebekah, beauty lays in the darkness, as you cannot experience light without obscurity.

The installation features sconces, wall sculptures and floor pieces exhibited in dim light creating a mysterious atmosphere. Heaven transports you to a mesmerizing and fantastic world, where Rebekah Bogard states, "Fantasies become realities and dreams become actuality".

 

Rebekah Bogard Exhibition Statement for Heaven

"Beauty saves. Beauty heals. Beauty motivates. Beauty unites. Beauty returns us to our origins, and here lies the ultimate act of saving, of healing, of overcoming dualism."
 
Matthew Fox

As artists are visionary people, we have a responsibility to the world, as we are agents of change. Artists have the power to change the world with their artwork and the dialogue that follows. Through my work, I strive to make the world a better place. Beauty has the power to save and reclaim lives.

With Heaven, I imagine a beautiful world where mystery lives. In the darkness, our imagination is lit as we are left to fill in the blanks of what goes unseen. Fire is often used symbolically to light imagination as well as a symbol for love and passion (e.g. the flaming heart). Heaven relies on the warm flicker of fire to light the show. The fire itself is an important element of the specific pieces in the show. It is not a separate element that is used to illuminate the space; rather it is an incorporated element that fulfills certain pieces of artwork.

As humans, we must carry our own light to guide us through uncertain terrain, both physically and metaphorically. After going through uncertain times, I learned to foster my own light from within. Fire is used as a metaphor for self assurance as well as a torch used for metaphysical guidance.

Fire itself is filled with tension as it is both dangerous and life saving. It can light our way through the darkness. But, if not used carefully, it is all consuming. It can warm and illuminate, but it can also bring death.

Although fire is symbol often used to represent hell, in the Jewish and Christian traditions it is a symbol of divinity (e.g. the burning bush and tongues of fire at Pentecost). Because fire is the only one of the four elements that humans can produce themselves, it bridges the gap between mortals and gods. Fire is a symbol of birth, resurrection, and purification. In order for forests to be healthy, fires are needed to clear out the old wood and stimulate new growth.

After going through a painful divorce, I often metaphorically refer to is as a fire. I survived a "fire" that burned the world as I knew it. I had to imagine and build a new world to live in. I re-discovered what it meant to be lit from within; to kindle and foster my own flame.

Heaven is a world I dreamt into being. It is a place that is lit from within; it relies on its own internal fire to light the exhibition. I believe it is our job to bring heaven to Earth. Heaven is not a specific place, but a state of mind. Bringing heaven to earth begins with putting a smile on your face as our energy in infectious.

 

 

(above: Rebekah Bogard, Flower. Image courtesy of American Museum of Ceramic Art. Photo by Rebekah Bogard)

 

(above: Rebekah Bogard, Oil Lamp. Image courtesy of American Museum of Ceramic Art. Photo by Rebekah Bogard)

 

(above: Rebekah Bogard, Untitled. Image courtesy of American Museum of Ceramic Art. Photo by Rebekah Bogard)

 

(above: Rebekah Bogard, Untitled. Image courtesy of American Museum of Ceramic Art. Photo by Rebekah Bogard)

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