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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Sculpture bridges generation gap

Nothing better spoke for the anticipation of the opening of Edward Inks’ “Absurd Beginnings” better than the two hundred people spilling out from the entrance of the Atkinson Gallery Friday night.

At first glance of the exhibition one might think they have arrived at the wrong place. The Atkinson is transformed into a real space where art takes shape. There are no paintings hung on the wall for viewing. Sculptures made from bronze, stone and marble are even lying about on the floor appearing as if they were just dropped from the heavens of Zeus.

It is clear that the norm of museum etiquette doesn’t apply here.

American Heritage’s definition of space as “the intuitive three-dimensional field of everyday experience” more than aptly applies to “Absurd Beginnings.”

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“Inks’ pieces have movement in space,” said Carlos Grano, a studio art major at City College. “You can walk around them, look through them and even interact with them.”

This is exemplified in Inks’ “Meeting the Goddess,” a bronze sculpture, which measures about 2 ½ feet in length. It appears aged with a wonderful green sooty color, looking as if it were pulled from the ancient depths of the sea or a treasure trunk from Homer’s Odyssey.

Many viewers walked around the cage, looked through the cage, and even bent to touch and push the cage. Feeling that the demands of their curiosity had been sufficiently met, they moved to the next piece of interest.

Inks displays his excellent masonry abilities, which can only be described as a vision of perfection.

“I think the show is dynamic,” said Sandra Torres, a guest at the opening. “It’s simple and enjoyable, not overwhelming.”

There are no stalk pieces. The entire exhibit seems fluid and movable. Though most of the mediums used are wood, steel, marble bronze and lead, nothing looks heavy.

When the viewer enters the world of “Absurd Beginnings” they enter a whimsical space where the intellectual mind engages the aesthetics of beauty and collides with classical antiquity.

Though the subject matter as well as the use of stone and bronze is reminiscent of classical antiquity, Inks’ ability to weld tough materials into soft curving lines makes the exhibit edgy and modern.

This is best exemplified with the “Portrait of Sisyphus” made from marble, which is placed on the floor. In classical times it might be considered unfinished.

The concepts of history and tradition collide and conflict with the individualism that sets modern art apart from classical.

“The show is certainly a different side to Ed than we see at church,” said Barbara Clark, one of Inks’ San Roque choir and church members.

For more information on the exhibition contact Dane Goodman, director of the Atkinson Gallery, at 965-0581 ext 3484.

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