How dark does it get when the lights go out?

Erika DeFreitas, Layne Hinton, Isabel M. Martínez, Colleen McCarten, Laura Millard

ANGELL GALLERY is proud to present, “How dark does it get when the lights go out?” a group exhibition that asks where our consciousness goes in sleep, state of mind, and physical transition. Curated by Noah Gano with artworks by Erika DeFreitas, Layne Hinton, Isabel M. Martínez, Colleen McCarten, and Laura Millard, the exhibition is on view from July 31 to September 12, 2020.


In sleep and dreams we drift in and out of awareness, both existing in this world and others. Isabel M. Martínez has described the shapes and forms that appear in her photographs as apparitions that have come to her in the moments before waking. These glowing portals, the result of a precise and considered practice of using analog methods to capture light, bring us to a mystic point of transition. Also using light as material, Layne Hinton questions the cast shadow in her kinetic sculptures, grounding the viewer between their presence and the rhythmic play of light and shadow they project. Objects, and our perception of reality and tangibility, become malleable.


The practice of meditation and the altered state of mind or emotion take us to a reflective place, one to commune or struggle with our existence. The woven textiles of Colleen McCarten cascade and climb, organic and structural, marking the passage of time and the process of thought. By reworking these weavings in different installations and forms, they live on as energy to be reborn and revisited.


Death and loss, as much as life and birth, are the universal strands of humanity. Erika DeFreitas describes her practice as the exploration of the ways we experience, avoid, navigate, and face loss. In her works on paper and videos, our presence and absence are animated as they relate to the objects that inhabit our lives, and the symbols or monuments they become, making loss and memory tangible.


On the Arctic Circle residency, Laura Millard reclaimed a ghost net in Svalbard—one of many lost, abandoned, or discarded commercial fishing nets that plague our waters. Recovering and using the net to draw the symbol for infinity in the ephemeral snow, Millard continued her approach to large-scale land art by photographing the drawing with a drone and painting over the print, rendering it to memory, and preserved. As in the cycle of life, the land is returned to itself.

In these voids of space and time, our understanding of materiality, memory, and the act of creation are in constant flux. All of these works can be understood through any lens of passing consciousness; there is a flow between the artist, the artwork, their practice, and these ideas that opens a nesting doll of questions. There are no concrete answers, only our own experiences of where we go, if we go, how we go, and when we go… and when, how, or if we return.


- Noah Gano