Andres Lobo on Jack Henry’s Art in Work Sites

 

Blog Post on Work Sites: by Andres Lobo, Stamp Gallery Staff, Class of 2012, Environmental Science and Policy

The first time I saw Jack Henry’s work was when I came into the Stamp Gallery to help Jason Hughes (GA) with Seth Adelsberger and Alex Ebstein (from Nudashank Gallery) install the show. By the time I arrived for my shift, most of the installation work was completed, but there was one thing I did help with.

Jack Henry’s Untitled (Core Sample #7) piece was sitting on a dolly. It’s a massive composite of post consumer/industrial waste mixed with resin and cement to help glue it together and looks like it weighs a few hundred pounds. Jason instructed me that they were going to lift it off the dolly, and I was going to be low enough to slide a square board (an inch in height) underneath of it. They both lifted it and once I got down to slide the board in, I came eye to eye with Core #7. Layer after layer are bursting with colors of red, blue, yellow, and green. The colors at closer glance are many items we see everyday such as wood, plastic guns, trash bags, and rims from an automobile. The resin material seems to be mostly black, gray, and flat where the resin and cement molded to the wall of the frame it was cooled in. There is a seemingly infinite amount of textures in Untitled (Core Sample #7) because of such a wide variety of materials that were used. After the piece was placed down it seemed to levitate off the ground.

Coming from an Environmental Science background it’s easy to misinterpret artists who are using recycled or discarded materials. Once the rose colored glasses have been taken off, and we see how much material we extract, produce, consume, trash, and move out of our peripheral vision, it becomes difficult to see those items as anything but wasted resources. Core #7 rings very loud with me as it shows the slurry of materials that our planet is constantly being forced to ingest as we pile more “trash” into landfills. It puts these materials into a display so we can really stare into the concept of waste and truly understand what it means, where it goes, and what it holds in the future for us. Most people do not think about where their waste goes because it simply disappears when waste services picks it up. These sculptures are a “core sample” into human infrastructure and force the viewer to witness what we are so constantly trying to hide away into the land; “Waste”.

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