The Night Collectors features new paintings and sculptures which interpret the Latin term Caelum, meaning both ‘celestial heavens’ and ‘sculptor’s chisel.’ A faint constellation in the southern sky, Caelum is used as a metaphor for a connection between the esoteric intellect and the earthly body. Garber uses this duality as an associative bridge to connect both bodies of work.
The Bride paintings are created through an elaborate process. Layering webs of oil paint in a weaving manner, a viscous tapestry-like surface is created. Each piece is painted in a vibrant color palette which is then negated through a layer of pale tones, creating a ghostly vibration. These works function as records of esoteric reverence through directed obsession. Researching, isolating and reinterpreting pattern-work from opposing spiritual sources gives the memory of reverence, yet removes dogma or specific religious associations relating to the original imagery. The repetitive process of accentuation and negation with the brushwork evokes devotional transmutation through prayer, creating a physical manifestation of communicating with the heavens.
Inspired by the 16th century Buontalenti Grotto, The Night Collectors captures flora in suspension at the moment of death. The sculptors chisel is used both literally, addressing the pieces as 3-Dimensional objects, and as metaphor, for the tools used to cultivate the earth. Silhouette and negative space emphasize a heightened sense of time and the imminence of death, addressing nature at it’s most fundamental level. This moment, frozen in time, illuminates an alchemical metamorphosis that begins and ends with the earth’s soil.
Helen Rebekah Garber was born in State College, PA, was raised in New York City and resides in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S. and Europe at venues including the Torrance Museum, The Laguna Art Museum, 31 Grand Gallery, New York, Bronwyn Keenan Gallery, New York and Per Pio Monte, Naples, Italy. She has been featured in publications including New American Paintings, The New York Times, Art ltd. and The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, She has received critical praise from Roberta Smith, Peter Frank and Colin Moynihan among others. She graduated from California Institute of the Arts in 2007.