Kia Neill

Sat Jan 16, 2010 - Sat Feb 27, 2010

Viewers will walk through a hand built and textured environment that leads through fantastic moments of surprise and geological discovery.

Houston artist Kia Neill will create a textured installation called “Terrain.”  In the past her art installations enveloped viewers in magical environments such as caves or grottos.  Those fabricated ecosystems were large enough to walk inside of giving the art an enclosed and intimate atmosphere.

For her new work, she sets aside the claustrophobia of enclosed spaces and concentrates on the moment we connect to the earth -the terrain we navigate as our feet touch the floor.

Artist Statement for Terrain:

Through sculpture and installation, I create simulations of nature that blur discomfort and the fantastic. I am interested in extraordinary, almost alien, natural landscapes, such as caves and coral reefs, as well as the diorama of miniature collectable counterparts that serve in household aquariums, souvenir cases, gardens, etc. I am particularly attracted to cavernous spaces, as a setting such as this may offer a type of sanctuary and yet can also evoke feelings of entrapment or disorientation. With my installations, I attempt to produce an environment that reifies metaphysical association and fantasy such bizarre landscapes can induce. My intent is not a realistic replication, but to amply suggest geological and biological form. I place emphasis on gaudy or absurd embellishment so to render an enhanced synthetic ideal. With my work I aim to signify the evolving mutation of nature while giving surreal form to cultural desires and anxieties.

For the installation “Terrain” I will produce an environment similar in aesthetic to the previous works “Cave” and “Grotto”, but I will focus on the ground upon which the viewer stands for location. I am curious how this repositioning will affect viewer interactivity and experience. To coordinate with “Terrain”, I will also present a collection of small works, or “gift shop souvenirs”, which will mimic the spectacle of the landscape and pose as synthetic artifacts or relics.