Continuing through February 16, 2020
Tess Mosko Scherer beckons us to consider the rich complexities of silence. Her exhibition pushes back against the assumption that silence is homogenous, prompting us to consider our own relationship to being quiet and still, especially within the context of living in a noisy world. The artist uses primarily paper, pastel, colored pencil, graphite, and thread to explore silence on both a grand and granular level, as both an interior and exterior state. It is a state modified by ideas, feelings, habits, external influences and more. Mosko Scherer displays a myriad of inspirations: mandalas, poetry, the #MeToo movement. The title of the exhibit quotes a line from Terry Tempest Williams’ book, “When Women Were Birds,” which speaks to the question of what it means to have a voice. “The Cartography of Silence.”
Her small paper works line three walls inside the intimate gallery, traversing a small loop around a bench that anchors the oblong space. Here, the very act of moving through the gallery signifies journeys taken through silent interior and exterior worlds. The small works begin as blank pieces of paper, a material that contains flaws that go unnoticed by those who do not seek them or appreciate their value. Mosko Scherer crumples the paper, creating terrains of light and shadow. Paper is torn, soaked, peeled, and manipulated in various ways, signaling the interplay of nature and nurture, and the dance between hanging on and letting go.
For “On My Way to Yes” the artist drew a large “X” across the paper that symbolizes the ways that considering one’s fears and insecurities can heighten one’s embrace of possibility and risk. For “Time and Again III” she grouped eight drawings of concentric rings, filling them with color and stitching. Each drawing has different asymmetries. Their loose threads capture the inherent messiness of life, and the impact of repetitive thoughts and actions on choices made along the way.