Arrested Symphony is an exhibition incorporating sculptures, reliefs, drawings and hanging works that explore the theme of injustice that is at the roots of the predatory gem and mineral excavation industry. While at a residency in Knoxville, Tennessee, I discovered that Oakridge was only 30 miles away. Oakridge played a key role in the development of the Atom Bomb and the Manhattan Project. I began an exploration and comparison of Uranium and Emeralds. These minerals look very much alike, beautiful but dangerous on their effect on civil conflict. Colombia my birthplace, has the finest Emeralds in the world. The mining of Emeralds was an important element in the continued colonization of the region. Emeralds have helped to fund the more than 60-year conflict which has taken over 450,000 lives and displaced about 5.7 million people. Uranium has brought destruction to a level which altered the future of warfare. The developments made during the Manhattan Project led to the death of about 700,000 people and its effects are still felt around the world. I use Colombia as an example, however this situation is repeating itself in many parts of the world. Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo are all involved in brutal civil conflicts fueled by Blood Diamonds. This project will make visual the human cost extracted with these minerals, once exposed to the light of day they can never be unearthed. My practice is an ongoing object-based exploration through which I create artworks which are organic and improvisational constructions that are infused with hope and renewal. The hand-crafted artworks are poetically and intricately crafted, creating an intimate repository for the individual and collective memory and implement the human body as a symbol and expression of nature, vulnerability and power. The work encourages viewers to reconsider social and historical narratives especially when dealing with the aftermath of Colonialism and raises critical questions about the politics of erasure and exclusion.
About The Gallery
JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is a collective environment of creative visions featuring monthly exhibitions of (inter)national, emerging to established, contemporary artists.