Brooke Gassiot, an artist and Austin native came to our notice two years ago during E.A.S.T.(East Austin Studio Tour). We both were so intrigued with her light boxes, some of which are delicately abstract and others which have a story inspiring the choice of objects and perceived action. Fortunately there are titles such as “Keeping the wolves at bay” or “Reach and Denial” or “See if you can try and hear me.” She is not shy about experimenting with properties of found objects, string, buttons, bolts, packaging and also traditional sculpturing materials. Brooke wants to engage her audience and I can safely say she has achieved that goal, with humor, insight and artistic flare.
Brooke showed us her new commission she was working on for the Mathews Elementary School, here in Austin–a bursted Pinata. It is a colorful lava flow of goodies streaming out. Brooke constructed a plexiglass form to attach candy and toy tiny sculptures made of transparent clay, which she worked with the students to create. When finished it will truly give the perception of a bursted pinata with the benefit of being a permanent installation. A joyous work. I’m sure the kids and the teachers are going to be excited, thrilled and impressed.
On January 21, 2012, Brooke is having a solo show at Pump Project, Art Complex, called, “Pressure.” She’s been working furiously on this arduous installation which will hang from the ceiling and puncture the walls of the warehouse gallery. She is exploring the concept of pressure and how it relates to our ability or inability to create solutions.
She has a BFA From UT Austin and gained much of her appreciation for working in materials from her years helping her mother hand paint silk. She had had enough of production work and was delighted to finally have the chance to find and develop her unique artistic expression in school. At UT she appreciated her drawing and painting professor, Melissa Miller, in particular. Brooke is currently the membership director for Texas Sculpture Group (not to be confused with Texas Sculpture Association).
Please mark your calendars for the upcoming show.
P.S. NEW UPDATE: We just saw at the 2011 E.A.S.T. Catalog Launch party , last night,(22October2011) another one of her enigmas “One Step at a Time”. We rallied our friends around wondering what the significance of a pink staircase heading to a cloud of soft fur strung up by strings that lead to a sieve, might mean. -Pink being such a feminine color –one thought was a woman’s struggle to riches being held up by strings that lead to a sinister set of dark holes, ready to pull it all down. It took up at least twenty minutes of discussion among our newly Gassiot- inaugurated friends. (..sorry no pictures–you will have to visit her at E.A.S.T.–Pump Project-Studio 57i)