Elizabeth Cote© Foto Paal Hoff 1086.jpg

Triptych of Parting Veils2017

kiln cast glass, plaster, muslin, wood

Produced during fully-funded residency at S12 in Bergen, Norway and shown in Young and Loving 2017.

The Parting of Veils is an idea that comes from western esotericism. It is an act of revealing, to the eye, the mysteries below the surface. Traditionally a magical practice of revealing nature’s mysteries, here I reveal the scarred flesh of the mind with twisted roots of doubt, the flight of an ego unchained, and the flowering of a mind well tended, hidden behind an inexpressive face.

I enjoy working on a small scale making sculptural narratives in vitrines, condensing dense narrative sculpture into glass boxes. This allows a viewing similar to the way one might look at a picture book, searching for the details of the story which are all packed into an image. The details are not easily viewable from afar, causing the viewer to come in close and take time to crane their neck or change position to view small moments. An object in a vitrine also takes on a more fragile state, something that needs to be protected, sheltered, and carefully preserved. They describe a frozen moment in time that only the careful viewer can capture in its entirety.  

Each of the three busts acts as the vitrine to hold a scene sculpted in its shell. This work is the continuation of my investigation into the power dynamics in relationships, metaphorically showing the mind in states of Melancholy, Mania, and Harmony.

Glass is a perfect medium to depict the mind as both fragile and brittle as well as durable. It, like our minds, can be both translucent and opaque. The interior emotion and mental state is represented in opaque colored glass while the face is translucent, and unreadable. Our seemingly clear mask can be a mask which hides our extreems.