ArtPrize 9 by Emily VanderMey

I would LOVE to hear what you thought about "Vulnerable". Please comment below you thoughts and criticisms. 

Taking part in ArtPrize 9 at Light Gallery + Studio is a huge honor and opportunity for me as I start out my career as a studio artist. This is my second exhibition of the piece "Vulnerable" and it is a much more ambitious version of the installation. The first exhibition was installed in April 2017 at Longwood Center for the Visual Arts (Farmville,VA) and consisted of 80 worm sculptures and 3 base sculptures. The ArtPrize iteration of "Vulnerable" has an estimated 600 hanging pieces plus 3 base sculptures. It took a full weekend to install(Friday-Sunday) and with the help of Erika and Matthew who run the gallery, along with my amazingly motivated family in Grand Rapids the install went painlessly. 

Exhibition Statement

"Just after dusk I was walking in the woods on the way back to my camp site. In the distance I saw something of a number of things hanging from the trees caught in the beam of my small flashlight. I walked towards it to get a better look and what lay ahead of me was hundreds, maybe thousands of worms suspended from threads attached to the trees above. I was alone, surrounded by so many creatures, and didn't know how to react. I eventually left to continue back to my campsite. I returned in the morning to the very spot of this cluster of worms, and they were gone."  -Anonymous, 2017

Vulnerable is a reflection of the feeling of uncertainty and fear of what is unknown. Recent changes personally, socially and politically have left me feeling open, uncertain, and vulnerable. This work is intended to emulate this feeling through the viewer and through the sculptures themselves. The bugs on the ground are protected by their exoskeleton on the outside, but are left open and on their backs, a vulnerable position. The densely packed swarm of worms act as a looming presence as they hang above the ground. Their sheer number causes discomfort. There is a tension, but also a calmness between the bugs and the worms which is captured in a moment in time.