Thursday, August 12, 2010

Susan Collis Makes a Mess

Susan Collis, Down to the Mother, 2008. Inlaid mother of pearl, dimensions variable. Photos: 16 Miles

Did someone spill milk on the floor of the Ingleby Gallery in Edinburgh? Has paint been splattered across the wooden boards with wanton disregard for the Iran do EspĂ­rito Santo on display in the room? Thankfully, no. Those marks are tiny slices of mother of pearl that have been worked into the panels of the floor. It's a permanent installation called Down to the Mother, 2008, a permanent installation by Susan Collis, who forges quotidian objects out of luxurious materials: she composed a 2007 sculpture that resembles a screw with coral, white gold, diamond, and silver, for instance. It's collector swag, certainly, but there's just enough mystery (and more than enough craftsmanship), to make it a smart piece — a bold move on the part of the gallery.