When I walked into Eliza Fernand‘s solo show at Fort Gallery, gallery owner and curator Vanessa Maida gave me a grin and said “You’re going to love this!” & she was right – I adored it. I work a lot in psychedelic patchwork alchemy, & Eliza Fernand’s patchwork and crochet stalactites and stalagmites make my heart happy. Patchwork boulders, rooms of technicolor dewdrops, clouds and mountains — if you’re in Oakland, there is an animated film tonight, and a closing reception March 28.
In Fort Gallery’s first solo exhibition, Eliza Fernand fills each room with site-specific installations of her craft infused abstractions. With recycled material from clothing, bedding and linens, she has set out to fabricate the ephemeral and mystical formations that occur in the natural world. These installations are crafted with familiar materials and familiar forms, but the scenes are fantasy. Crocheted stalagmites and flowery fabric boulders, a cabinet of curiosities with geodes and shells handmade from clay; each room in the gallery sets a mottled scene of contradictions—composed and organic, material and immaterial, intimate and encompassing. These qualities are played out figuratively and literally throughout the show, as Fernand is investigating atmospheric elements where the only constant is transformation.