the boat (downstream) | 2009
the boat (downstream) | 2009

William Siegal Gallery
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Paula Castillo’s non-illusionist objects radiate a vulnerability that belies their media: steel, fencing nails, and wire recovered from the hard-scrabble country of her native northern New Mexico.

In Castillo’s hands the found metals that compose her sculptures become río y sierra, the Rio Grande and Rocky Mountains of a wondrous homeland, a great Walden’s Pond of the West that nurtures an attentive soul.

Her exhibition the boat (downstream) epitomizes the heroine’s journey, similar in principle to the allegorical Tarot cards, in which the Fool’s journey begins with a single step — right off a cliff. Taken as a whole and throughout its individual works, the show alludes to personal and communal notions of the mythical journey that every self-aware human must undertake. The artist expresses that journey as she sees it: a disjointed construction with slip-sliding layers of meaning — minus, perhaps, absolute truth yet abiding in intimate genuineness.

—by Kathryn M. Davis