Cultivating a Garden off Grid // A Clearing for the Voice Yet Heard

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Cultivating a Garden off Grid // A Clearing for the Voice Yet Heard

November 1, 2019 - December 1, 2019

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Cultivating a Garden off Grid // A Clearing for the Voice Yet Heard brings together three artists engaging with the narratives of domesticated plant life through various forms of research, image making, and storytelling. Calista Lyon uproots the history of the Franklinia tree by way of a distant relative, plant hunter John Lyon, who collected and commercially traded its seeds. Asking questions about what is native and what is knowing, she presents extensive research in an installation of non-linear images, text, and performance. Sam Calvetti translates the voice of a bromeliad, a common tropical houseplant and witness to mundane acts of labor. They construct a new methodology by quilting together punch cards, computer coding, and audio interface, which simultaneous reinvents and challenges binary classification systems. Zach Rawe contemplates wildness, control, logic, and decay while creating paintings that reimagine cropped moments of unyielding growth by depicting subjects such as American cacti caged underneath the glass domes of the botanic gardens in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Gathered, these works transform the gallery into an unconventional garden, unveiling different bodies of nature with new identities, voices, and histories in the space while growing together in shared soil.


Calista Lyon is an Australian artist living and working in Columbus, Ohio. Her research materializes the relations and entanglements between bodies, history, knowledge and knowing. Drawing from diverse practices—through photography, video, ceramics, social practice and performance—she reimagines forms of storytelling that might serve non-human and human worlds in our contemporary moment of ecological breakdown.

Sam Calvetti is a queer, non-binary Los Angeles based visual artist and psychological researcher whose collages and installations employ grandmothered skills such as sewing, quilting, and coding. Having lost most personal connections to these crafts and material, their work is rooted heavily in self education, re-familiarization, and discovery. Using ephemeral objects from past eras, Calvetti interjects feminine control into previously untouchable masculine spaces. Their practice functions as a procedure of reclaiming the effeminate.

Zachary Rawe is an awkward painter, speculative writer, and sometimes Adj. Professor, based in Philadelphia, PA. Primary investments include Antiwork politics, rewilding with sympathies towards invasive species, soft borders, and imagining strange bedfellows inside of disparate aesthetic and intellectual regimes. You can follow Zachary Rawe @becoming_antiwork on Instagram.

Curated by Lydia Smith


November 1, 2019
December 1, 2019
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1400 N American St Gallery 105
Philadelphia, PA 19122 United States
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