New alt_space Exhibition in September August 12 2023

Audrey Hope

September 2 - October 14, 2023
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 2, 4-7 PM
Artist Talk: Friday, September 15, 11 AM

Audrey Hope Sculpture

Image: Audrey Hope, Mass at the Basilica de Guadalupe, bronze, pigment prints on canvas, PVA, onyx fast, microbeads, acrylic, thread, embroidery floss, charms gifted by the artist to her grandmother and returned upon her grandmother's death, 18 x 25 x 6 cm

About the Exhibition:

Audrey Hope is an artist and educator who works between sculpture and installation to explore themes surrounding nature, spirituality, memory, and travel. For her debut alt_space exhibition at Arts on Douglas, she presents WHEN THE YOGI IS TIRED. 

This exhibition is centered on a collection of sculptures from the series Disappointed Tourist. Each of the small sculptures is a shrine, a site for adoration and remembering, referencing Hope’s private memories. Lost-wax cast bronze bases support and disrupt the sculptural forms that incorporate shreds of material with narrative qualities, such as tufts of fur, photographs, and charms.

Hope explains:

“After a summer of living in the woods behind my grandparents’ house, my family won a possibly rigged Santa Cruz Nurserymen’s Association raffle. I was 8 or 9 when we took the winnings and spent three weeks riding buses between Guadalajara and Mexico City. It was during this journey that I first came to understand the disillusionment of travel through my mother’s disappointment. The central trio of sculptures in Disappointed Tourist represent sites where my mother broke down: at the sight of the tilma of St. Juan Diego depicting our Lady of Guadalupe, at the Tiffany Glass Mosaic curtain in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and in the Hotel Catedral.

These works are intended to capture the conflict between anticipation and disappointment in the presence of sacred places and objects. I am intrigued by moments when pent-up aesthetic and spiritual expectations meet the reality and exhaustion of pilgrimage.”

Alongside these sculptures, Hope features additional works that delve into her family’s idiosyncratic relationship to travel. This includes a couch blanketed with a rough, sharp, colorful, and glittery canvas -- suggesting a resting place that is both welcoming and uncomfortable. Opposite the couch, two embroidered banners hang from the walls that incorporate scenery from family backpacking trips into the Sierra-Nevada mountain range in California, with hand-embroidered text that reads across both panels.

Hope elaborates, “I grew up in precarious housing situations. My family took long-term camping and wilderness backpacking trips that disguised periods of homelessness. We were odd pilgrims. The outdoors were sometimes a sanctuary-–but they were also a solution to housing problems.”

As a result of these experiences, Hope seeks to trouble the notion of the natural world as a site for healing and spiritual connection. Instead, she aims to evoke a sense of strangeness, overwhelm, and perhaps an unsettling comfort through her art practice as she considers what it means to seek god in the physical world by creating forms “from within the abyss located behind the sublime.”

About the Artist:

Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Audrey Hope holds an MFA from the University of California, San Diego, where she was a 2017 Frontiers of Innovation Scholar. In 2014, Hope attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. She also holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in association with Tufts University, and was awarded a 2014 Traveling Fellowship by the School. Hope is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL.

Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Any Kind of Raven, Å+, Berlin, DE (2023); Wet Wool, After Hours, Los Angeles, CA (2022); Casanova Hope, Parkahaus15, Orlando, FL (2021); Thick Skin, Wooba Project Space, Austin, TX (2020). Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at: Sweet Pass Sculpture Park, Dallas; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Centro de las Artes San Agustín, Oaxaca, Mexico; OSLO10, Basel, Switzerland; x-pon art, Hamburg, Germany; and SOMA, Mexico City, Mexico.