Exploring Bonds: Jack Larimore’s BONDING Exhibition at Rowan University Art Gallery

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"The centerpiece of the showcase is a white dress, made with a material and silhouette that bring to mind an earlier era, almost colonial." - Arts & Entertainment Editor / Al Harmon.

The Rowan University Art Gallery and Museum’s newest exhibit is Jack Larimore’s BONDING, an exploration of the interplay between domestic chores and nature, and the way people bond to each other and the things around them. The exhibit is composed of seven large sculptural artworks, all featuring elements that could be found in the natural world, as well as man-made objects. 

Each piece mixes shapes and angles that are only possible from human intervention with the more jagged and less structured shapes that are found when organic material is left untouched. The pieces are surrounded by two matte black walls and one white wall, creating a contrast and drawing the viewer’s eye to the more natural tones of the pieces on the floor and along the wall. 

“I see the whole thing is one installation. And the fun for me is that each of these pieces within the space set up a context for each other. And so, it’s the interplay that’s great. So my favorite piece is the whole show, and the way that there’s… interaction or what is often referred to as the conversation between the pieces,” said Larimore. 

The centerpiece of the showcase is a white dress, whose material and silhouette bring to mind a colonial era. The dress has a light under it that makes the thin, white material glow. Stacked wooden planks surround the dress and its glow can be seen through the gaps in the boards creating the octagonal housing for the garment. Fabric from the massive, flowing skirt pushes out from underneath the wood, to give an even larger sense of scale to the audience.

Along one wall, a line of large white paper balls sits, with thin structures made out of large sticks propped up against them. Some of the spheres stick partially out of the spaces between the different pieces of thin wood. The wall features seven structures made of metal frames, white painted sticks, and the heads of shovels, with lights shown on them to create well-outlined shadows against the flat white of the wall.

Another piece features the trunk of a tree split down the middle. Dark brown, smooth, planks of wood bolted together into a ship-shaped object, with a hollow middle full of twigs and the harsh right angles of wooden frames emerge through the center of the trunk.

Two pieces along the back wall stand next to each other. One features several long wooden poles with spikes driven up the sides of them. The poles are freestanding, only propped up against the wall. The other piece displays two large pieces of wood with a rusted metal chain hanging from the ceiling and piling on top of itself on the white platform.

The final piece is set up on a boarded triangle platform. One side of the platform has a log with a thin stem and a small green hand sticking out of it. The rest of the platform is taken up by a large pile of cotton and the leaves and other organic material that comes with it. 

“I was seeing the things that were tying all these things together, which was that concern for people, trying to maintain relationships and bonds… So that’s how the exhibition got its title and also the sort of theme that I started to look for in the work, about what I think about that concept of bonding with other people,” said Larimore.

The exhibition, the last one for the school year, opened on March 25 and the official opening reception and Artist Talk is set for April 13. 

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