CORVALLIS, Ore. – “VČELA: Blood & Honey,” an exhibit of sculpture, installation and language by artist Craig Goodworth, opens on Monday, Jan. 11, in the Fairbanks Gallery on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.
A reception and artist’s talk will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14. The event is free and open to the public.
The exhibit draws from the forests of the Willamette Valley and central Europe as well as village folklore and ecological concern. With elements of sculpture, installation and poetry/performance, Goodworth connects to place, memory, object and land. The exhibit is the result of his research and art practice, and explores such questions as art’s role in helping one feel physically connected to land, and how aesthetics can witness to crises that arise in the natural world.
The exhibit includes nine bronze casts from a decayed bee box that Goodworth collected in the Slovak Republic near the Hungarian border. Apiology, or the study of bees, is both an historic tradition of work and fare, and a contemporary icon for crisis in the natural world. The nine bee frames were cast directly, burning out the original forms, at the Bratislava Academy of Fine Art and Design in the summer of 2015. They are part of a larger project, titled “Blood and Honey,” that addresses ancestry and land.
Goodworth began drawing individual honeybees in the spring of 2013 in his home in the Chehalem Valley of Oregon. In a previous installation, Goodworth used 90 individual bee drawings. This more recent exhibit expands on the subject. In “VČELA: Blood & Honey,” he has compiled an even larger drawing, expanding it to wrap around the gallery and crossing the boundary from the paper on the wall to the walls themselves.
Accompanying the works are poems Goodworth wrote in 2014 and 2015 while he was living in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and in the foothills of Europe’s Carpathian Mountains.
The Fairbanks Gallery, 220 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The exhibit concludes on Feb. 2.