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What is not and that which is

Sculptures and Drawings by Sheila Ghidini

date. April 7 thru May 13

opening. Friday, April 7 from 5 to 7 pm

artist talk: Saturday, May 6 at 1:30pm

Pastine Projects is pleased to present a solo show of sculptures and
drawings by Sheila Ghidini.

Sheila Ghidini writes “I’m interested in calling attention to the ubiquitous, but often overlooked spaces between things, as well as the shadows cast by them…..what’s lost, missing, or obscured is as critical to the work, if not more so, then that which is tangibly present.”

In his seminal book The Poetics of Space (1958), Gaston Bachelard attributes our poetic and imaginative lives to the interior spaces we inhabit unconsciously, but which nonetheless have the power to evoke strong emotions and reconnect us with deeper parts of ourselves and the universe. The domestic space within which we exist stimulates reveries that connect us with our unconscious to form a “poetic image” or creative outlet.  Ghidini’s use of the quotidian form of a chair and its negative spaces summons our profound connection to the architecture of the home. For Ghidini, a reconfigured chair, emphasizing the void, “serves as a marker in space, a symbol of both presence and absence, and a fundamental architectural form that also has the potential to hold memory.”

Tapping into what she refers to as “the consumer waste stream”, Ghidini finds her chairs on the street or sources them from hand-me-downs. Playing actual shadows against illusory ones made of graphite and chalk on the wall, she manipulates and re-forms the chairs to confound the viewer’s perception of what is there and what is not, connecting the unconscious with a poetic image.

Ghidini further explores these concerns in her carefully rendered abstracted drawings and assemblages. Her drawings are inspired by her sculpture, Pivot, in which she pivoted a chair on its axis to create a feeling of both movement and stillness.  The shapes used in the assemblages are taken from the negative spaces in drawings of chairs, then cut out of cardboard to allow for more folding and dimensionality. Ghidini’s richly nuanced works closely examine relationships between objects, space, and cast shadows, connecting us with overlooked and unseen spaces to reveal the poetry of absence and its relationship to our creative subconscious.


Sheila Ghidini, Black Diamond, 2022, wood, paint, graphite +chalk drawn cast shadows, thread and map pins, 39 x 9 x 3 inches


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