Work from a Dietrich Inchworm Grant (DiG) project by Rebecca Murtaugh, the John and Anne Fischer Professor of Fine Arts, is featured in a New York City exhibition at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Arts Center at Governors Island. The exhibition, titled “Metabolism of Cities,” is on display Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 15 -17, in conjunction with the Urban Soils Institute Symposium.
DiG is an ongoing explorative sculpture project at the intersection of art and science with an interest in geologic time, place, materiality, and what it means to be human. For the past two years, Murtaugh has foraged local native clays – from rich terracottas to high temperature cretaceous clay bodies that resemble stoneware and porcelain – from Central New York and Long Island.
The objects exhibited include samples that investigate plasticity, shrinkage, and maturation temperatures, as well as modest sculptures that explore malleability and form. Works are exhibited on and within “The Unit,” a transportable, contained exhibition vehicle that references the pack in pack out process of digging from sites that are often off the beaten path.
Murtaugh will also be part of the symposium’s “Clay Exchange,” a participatory workshop in which she and other artists will introduce scientists to hand building, throwing, and interacting with wild clays that have been collected by symposium contributors. This maker space is intended to build community through working with clay.