'Field Notes' by Sara Mejia Kriendler - 27 East

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‘Field Notes’ by Sara Mejia Kriendler

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Sara Mejia Kriendler work in progress, jute, sisal and gold wire, dimensions variable, 2023. COURTESY THE ARTIST

Sara Mejia Kriendler work in progress, jute, sisal and gold wire, dimensions variable, 2023. COURTESY THE ARTIST

authorStaff Writer on Jun 2, 2023

The Arts Center at Duck Creek will present “Field Notes,” an exhibition of new sculptural work by Sara Mejia Kriendler in the Little Gallery. The exhibition opens with a reception on Saturday, June 10, from 3 to 5 p.m. and will be on display through July 9.

“I moved to the East End during the pandemic, pregnant with my son,” explains Kriendler. “I have spent a lot more time with trees than with people during the last few years and nature has crept into the studio. I have considered myself for some time as a landscape artist, but the landscape I used to depict was human and the body was my central focus. This exhibition turns away from the human and towards the earth; we have placed ourselves at the center for far too long. ‘What are we attuned to?’ Perhaps it is time to tune into something different. And so, in these works, I am thinking less like a sculptor and more like a spider or a vine.”

At the heart of Kriendler’s exhibition is a sculptural installation that spans almost the entire length of the gallery’s longest wall. Also titled “Field Notes,” the work is composed of dozens of bundles of sage and cedar raining down from the ceiling in a dense pattern to create a kind of tapestry. These cocoon-like forms are the culmination of many months spent wrapping fresh leaves with gold, tan and yellow-toned thread, a repetitive process that appears almost devotional at this scale. While the sage and cedar recall cleansing rituals and make a connection to the healing properties of the natural environment, the gesture of wrapping implies a desire to protect, preserve, and to nurture.

On the opposite wall hangs a new series of reliefs made from raw fiber — jute, sisal, and fique, wrapped in gold wire. Here, the artist has interlaced strands of varying thicknesses in such a way that approximates tangled vines, or exposed roots along the forest floor.

Throughout the exhibition, the use of gold references pre-Columbian art-making traditions, particularly gold filigree used in jewelry, as well as Indigenous mythologies which centered gold as a tool for transcendence, the sweat of the sun. Kriendler has continued to explore the history of these worldviews throughout her practice. Her exhibition at Duck Creek extends these themes into the local environment by incorporating natural materials from the East End.

Sara Mejia Kriendler (b. 1983, New York City) is a Colombian-American artist. She studied Intellectual History at the University of Pennsylvania, trained as a sculptor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and received her MFA in Fine Arts from SVA. Her solo exhibitions include “Mother’s Milk” at PROXYCO Gallery, New York City (2021), “Sangre y Sol” at The Chimney, Brooklyn (2019), “In Back of Beyond” at Guild Hall, East Hampton (2018), “El Ocaso de Los Idolos” at Pereira Museum of Fine Art, Pereira, Colombia (2018), “Duplicates, Dummies & Dolls” at CP Projects Space, New York City (2016), “The Anthropocene” at A.I.R. Gallery, New York City (2015) and “In Arbeit - Six Memos for the Next ...,” at Magazin 4, Bregenz, Austria (2013).

The Arts Center at Duck Creek is at 127 Squaw Road in East Hampton. For more information, contact duckcreekarts.org.

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