Boston Sculptors Gallery
486 Harrison Avenue
Through October 7
AS A PUBLIC ARTIST, GILLIAN CHRISTY HAS CREATED WORKS THAT SERVE AS EXPRESSIONS OF ENTIRE COMMUNITIES, WORKS THAT ALL AT ONCE REFLECT THEIR PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. HER LATEST CREATIONS, HOWEVER, GIVE VOICE TO A MUCH MORE PERSONAL STORY.
Long, slender grasses bend to one side as a strong wind gusts across the prairie. The rolling hills climb slowly upward and smoothly descend downward, over and over again. There is nothing else and no one else. This is Christy’s memory of the quiet car rides that she made on her way home from college. Radio switched off, passenger seat empty, there was nothing to distract her from the beauty of the grasslands of the empty territory of northern Iowa.
Nothing except one resurgent question: How could she recreate them in her studio?
This question played in the back of Christy’s mind for years, and for a time, it went unanswered. After she finished college, she moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where she adopted the industrial language of her new surroundings. She drew much of her inspiration from its old mills and manufacturing plants, and her works took on the clean lines and regular patterns with which its commercial buildings were made. Her work, “Embrace,” now crowns the smokestack of one of those mills. The seven-foot-tall work of bronze restored the deteriorated smokestack to its original height, commemorating the utilitarian importance it held in days passed.