Thursday night, I attended the opening reception at Northern Kentucky University for the senior Fine Arts thesis exhibit of work by Sarah Cork, Brandy Bader, Joshua White, Lauren Wells, and Christine Bonenfant. It’s up through 2 May 08 at the Main Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. I feel compelled to single out the installation Our Veils Are Wearing Thin by Christine Bonenfant.
Bonenfant is primarily a ceramicist, who recently started working in porcelain. Her installation, one of two in this exhibit, is of porcelain-coated pieces of cloth, each roughly the size of a hankerchief, and parts of faces. All the pieces are hung with fishing line from a rectilinear armature on the ceiling.
It’s not often that art literally takes my breath away. In this installation, the cloth is soft but, in porcelain, it’s hard. The cloth is malleable but, in porcelain, it’s brittle. The porcelain is high-fired, which makes it as durable as porcelain can be, but the medium is inherently fragile.
The view from below is stunning. This is a truly ethereal, engaging installation. Bonenfant currently has smaller pieces at Krafthaus and Funke Fired Arts. I look forward to seeing more of her large-scale work.