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Art teacher Ben Meeker talks about Morse Clary’s display at Bellarmine

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Morse Clary – “The Subtle Language of Wood”

Bellarmine’s Gathering Space Art Gallery

Showing December 7 – January 29

What is visual language? The written and spoken word is efficient within a shared cultural context. On a global/historical/multicultural scale, traditional language is grossly, war inducingly flawed. An object is articulate.  A Clovis point can tell us a 10,000-year-old story. Aside from the objects own history there are volumes of meaning that we impose upon them through our filters of cultural and personal experience.

Morse Clary tells elaborate stories, doctoral thesis’, and sly subcultural puns using objects and artifacts which he finds or creates. These visual narratives are appropriately presented in the form of elegantly carved wooden books. The books come off the wall like individual lecterns in a rare manuscript library.

Each book is a beautiful object unto themselves, the pages cut from exotically grained logs or laminated, ordinary boards cut into very un-ordinary sections. Carved ancient looking tools, bits of bone and tooth, sticks, seeds and stems and inlays of many other eloquent objects form an articulate visual language across the carved pages.

The book shape is a natural and metaphorical framing device that simultaneously encloses and presents thoughts. The idea of BOOK carries its’ own cultural history. Clary’s books are, above all, beautifully crafted sculptures which frame the message with clarity and purpose.

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Art teacher Ben Meeker talks about Morse Clary’s display at Bellarmine