Our Infinite Capacity for Love, 2010
#4 of edition of 15
Digital embroidery from drawing on cotton dishtowel (approx 29 x 45")
A review of the show An Enlarged Heart in which this piece was created and shown:
Erika deVries’ work gives the viewer an intimate look at the creative process: each piece echoes in the next, or references the piece before it. On view at MIYAKO YOSHINAGA Art Prospects in Chelsea are photographs, neon pieces, and embroidered tea towels that were made in collaboration with her six year-old son, Dove, and that contain thoughts on family, love, the home, creative expression, communication, learning, and more.
In the exhibition’s title work we see a chalkboard placed in a bright, sunny living room. The words “An Enlarged Heart” are carefully written out in all caps by a child’s hand and then set off by a rather modern-looking design; the lines in the artwork echoing those in the floorboards and radiator. The words bring to mind a medical condition, but also more poetically the sensitivities of a boy learning about the world, the growth of a family, the living room itself (being the center of a home) What do these words mean for you?
Our interpretation expands a bit by looking at the piece attached to the back wall of the gallery: printed in a red-orange script in neon are the words “Our Infinite Capacity for Love.” The enlarged heart of the first piece is referenced and we begin to ask, will all of our love fit in an enlarged heart? will it continue to grow the more we love?
Erika deVries' work is narrative and responds to cyclical transformations from girlhood, womanhood, and motherhood. The exhibition in which this piece was shown incorporated the rhythms of daily living while exploring the nature of presence and absence in her effort to reconcile the loss including that of a family friend.
At a time when a loved one was experiencing fear and anxiety, deVries learned a Kundalini exercise that involves breathing in the sufferer's pain in order to breathe out, and back, love. She writes, "Our Infinite Capacity For Love are words that have bound me to the people of my life: the family, friends, and others, past and present that I admire."
Erika deVries is a photography, performance and video artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY and a full time faculty member in The Department of Photography and Imaging at New York University, Tisch School of The Arts. She has lectured and exhibited internationally. She recently had a solo exhibition"Your Mother Is In The Basement" at LaSalle University Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA. deVries's work will be included in the upcoming publication The M Word, Real Mother's In Contemporary Art, edited by Myrel Chernick, 2010.