Terri Saulin:
That which requires no battle

Terri Saulin:
That which requires no battle

TIGER STRIKES ASTEROID
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
RESOURCE
DECEMBER 15, 2017

Terri Saulin:
That which requires no battle

TIGER STRIKES ASTEROID
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
RESOURCE
DECEMBER 15, 2017

5. TSA Philly

NOVEMBER 18, 2017 - JANUARY 6, 2018
TIGER STRIKES ASTEROID
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
RESOURCE

AN ESSAY BY HEATH BALLOWE
on the occastion of That Which Requires No Battle by Terri Saulin

November 18th, 2017 - January 6th, 2018

Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Upon reading the title of Terri Saulin’s newest exhibition, your mind may conjure up an image of passive surrender, but that would be your first mistake. That which requires no battle is not a waving of the white flag, or even a negotiated truce, it is an intricately constructed defensive full of dangerous pitfalls and booby-traps. Saulin has no intention of backing down or submitting. She has wrapped herself in Kevlar and is prepared to look you directly in the eye and show you who she is.

Terri Saulin’s work is honest, and has nothing to hide. These objects make no attempt to conceal the effort that went into their production. Her work is labored over, delicately modified and refined, as it should be in a world that constantly reminds us that, nothing good comes easily.

In her statement, Saulin describes her neighbors Quintina and Mario, the couple that are the inspiration for this body of work as, “alchemists who could build or fix anything with a piece of string.” Her interpretation of their persistent effort to keep everything in one piece comes across surprisingly unshakable. Even when her work seems to be at its most delicate, like in A Substance in a Cushion, we find ourselves reassured by Saulin’s, confident use of the materials she knows best; porcelain, glaze, and concrete. Saulin’s steady hands are able to fabricate a sculpture that is both beautifully delicate, and a dangerous weapon. Even when Saulin challenges herself by experimenting in paper, her manipulation of the material enables her to transform the fragile into a powerful scaffold-like structure, with her variable edition series Stibicanite.

AN ESSAY BY HEATH BALLOWE
on the occastion of That Which Requires No Battle by Terri Saulin

November 18th, 2017 - January 6th, 2018

Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Upon reading the title of Terri Saulin’s newest exhibition, your mind may conjure up an image of passive surrender, but that would be your first mistake. That which requires no battle is not a waving of the white flag, or even a negotiated truce, it is an intricately constructed defensive full of dangerous pitfalls and booby-traps. Saulin has no intention of backing down or submitting. She has wrapped herself in Kevlar and is prepared to look you directly in the eye and show you who she is.

Terri Saulin’s work is honest, and has nothing to hide. These objects make no attempt to conceal the effort that went into their production. Her work is labored over, delicately modified and refined, as it should be in a world that constantly reminds us that, nothing good comes easily.

In her statement, Saulin describes her neighbors Quintina and Mario, the couple that are the inspiration for this body of work as, “alchemists who could build or fix anything with a piece of string.” Her interpretation of their persistent effort to keep everything in one piece comes across surprisingly unshakable. Even when her work seems to be at its most delicate, like in A Substance in a Cushion, we find ourselves reassured by Saulin’s, confident use of the materials she knows best; porcelain, glaze, and concrete. Saulin’s steady hands are able to fabricate a sculpture that is both beautifully delicate, and a dangerous weapon. Even when Saulin challenges herself by experimenting in paper, her manipulation of the material enables her to transform the fragile into a powerful scaffold-like structure, with her variable edition series Stibicanite.

AN ESSAY BY HEATH BALLOWE
on the occastion of That Which Requires No Battle by Terri Saulin

November 18th, 2017 - January 6th, 2018

Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Upon reading the title of Terri Saulin’s newest exhibition, your mind may conjure up an image of passive surrender, but that would be your first mistake. That which requires no battle is not a waving of the white flag, or even a negotiated truce, it is an intricately constructed defensive full of dangerous pitfalls and booby-traps. Saulin has no intention of backing down or submitting. She has wrapped herself in Kevlar and is prepared to look you directly in the eye and show you who she is.

Terri Saulin’s work is honest, and has nothing to hide. These objects make no attempt to conceal the effort that went into their production. Her work is labored over, delicately modified and refined, as it should be in a world that constantly reminds us that, nothing good comes easily.

In her statement, Saulin describes her neighbors Quintina and Mario, the couple that are the inspiration for this body of work as, “alchemists who could build or fix anything with a piece of string.” Her interpretation of their persistent effort to keep everything in one piece comes across surprisingly unshakable. Even when her work seems to be at its most delicate, like in A Substance in a Cushion, we find ourselves reassured by Saulin’s, confident use of the materials she knows best; porcelain, glaze, and concrete. Saulin’s steady hands are able to fabricate a sculpture that is both beautifully delicate, and a dangerous weapon. Even when Saulin challenges herself by experimenting in paper, her manipulation of the material enables her to transform the fragile into a powerful scaffold-like structure, with her variable edition series Stibicanite.

Saulin describes memories as, “a vast and intricate novel that at once documents, interrupts and obfuscates, creating floating entry points and a universe of emotions in every corner.” She allows us momentarily into a world filtered through her memories with a series of drawings on vellum that are intended as a window into the exhibition titled, Remembering Quintina Bianca Melaragni. The drawings are arranged and layered on a glass lens, that functions to transform the way light filters into the gallery.

Saulin takes her memory-filtered opposition further with her decision to collaborate with sculptor Gregory Emore, Principal of Geronimo Co. on the installation of that which requires no battle. Together they have created insightful vignettes that manage to function the way that a line of poetry holds together individual words. Emore’s handling of steel, brass and wood seamlessly reinforces Saulin’s porcelain army as a symbiotic force to be reckoned with.

In one arrangement, Emore bends a sheet of steel around a concrete column in the gallery, stitching together Saulin’s seemingly wounded, but still upright sculpture Lily of the Valley to that which requires no battle, a surefooted, barricade-like vessel that shares its name with the overall exhibition. In another pairing Emore frames In the midst of chaos there is also opportunity by backing it in wood and designing a brass arm that cradles Saulin’s sculpture, Empress consort Jingu while also reflecting a warm fire-like glow on its foot.

Much like Terri Saulin herself, that which requires no battle is complex and multifaceted. Every idea has been harvested over the entirety of a life, coming together to speak with one confident voice. At its base the exhibition shows that Saulin, just like the rest of us, is moving forward. Sometimes distracted by the past, but managing to build delicate structures that by sheer force of will, remain in one piece.

3. TSA Philly
2. TSA Philly
7. TSA Philly
6. TSA Philly
5. TSA Philly
9. TSA Philly
8. TSA Philly
4. TSA Philly
11. TSA Philly

Photos by Jaime Alvarez.  Courtesy of Tiger Strikes Asteroid.

Terri Saulin received her MFA from the University of the Arts and her BFA from Moore College of Art and Design. She currently teaches a variety of Studio Arts courses at The Agnes Irwin School, in Rosemont, PA. Terri's "mice en place" of interests in biology, botany, classical music, geology, and gastronomy guide her construction. She builds delicate, alternating smooth and densely textured, porcelain sculptures. They are physical explorations of philosophical ideas. Without beginning or end, the sculptures suggest forms from nature but, just as easily, they mimic the branching, burrowing, nonhierarchical structure of the internet. She photographs the forms in various stages of production. The forms and photos become her still life. The system of distilled information provides an elastic and infinitely expandable language that fuel future drawings, prints and sculpture.

“When I first moved into my old, South Philadelphia house, everything that was falling down was buttressed with scrap wood, tied up with nude-colored, nylon stockings, and slathered with concrete. The supported structures were a mysterious and curious landscape that served as a record of the architectural history of my home. My neighbors Quintina and Mario were alchemists who could build or fix anything with a piece of string. Memories are delicate constructions. They are a labyrinth, a vast and intricate novel that at once documents, interrupts and obfuscates, creating floating entry points and a universe of emotions in every corner. In the “Shaker” spirit, I imagine a tiny wasp-worker making imaginary homes for important collections of most special memories.”
- Terri Saulin
terrisaulin.com



Heath Ballowe
is an artist and critic living and working in Philadelphia, PA. He received his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. He is also a consulting collections manager, for the Lim/Tooey Ceramics Collection, and The Collection Coordinator for The Clay Studio Collection, in Philadelphia.
heathballowe.com


Tiger Strikes Asteroid is a network of artist-run spaces with locations in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Each space is independently operated and focuses on presenting a varied program of emerging and mid-career artists. Their goal is to collectively bring people together, expand connections and build community through artist-initiated exhibitions, projects, and curatorial opportunities. We seek to further empower the artist’s role beyond that of studio practitioner to include the roles of curator, critic, and community developer; and to act as an alternate model to the conventions of the current commercial art market.

Their exhibitions and projects have been featured in numerous print and online publications including The New York Times, The Chicago Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Hyperallergic, Art F City, The Huffington Post, L Magazine, Whitehot Magazine, Two Coats of Paint, Artinfo, Artnet News, Beautiful Decay, and the artblog.

Tiger Strikes Asteroid is a 501c3 federally tax-exempt non-profit arts organization.

tigerstrikesasteroid.com


RESOURCE
A posting of any length based primarily on submissions but also compiled through research by The Rib. Resource shares press releases, exhibition details, photo essays, interviews, podcasts, and other original content generated by galleries or alternative sources. Resource establishes a critical dialogue or discourse for artists and institutions by simply sharing information in a network connecting networks.

© THE RIB 2017
© THE RIB 2017
© THE RIB 2017