Essay Page Work. Bulletin no.197. Ken Hall


Delicately balanced orbs - skinless balloons of black oil and translucent glass, pale and antique - appear weightless, suspended in light. Severed from origins or explanation, they invite forensics but seem set to defy narrow analysis. Seeping and blurring, the amorphous forms appear frozen; their glacial processes suspended, colliding worlds encased on blotted parchment as if between laboratory slides. Marie Le Lievre's Wayward (Tomes) works itself out in ways that are both vast and microscopic - the incongruence, however, is well balanced and resolved.


Le Lievre displays a sense of purpose and investigational analysis in her working process, and an application that appears rigorous, consistent and scientific. Her results, however, are far from dryly procedural or analytic, veering closer instead to the extraordinary and ethereal, a landing place for mysteries small and large to collide, generating the veiled and illusory interior.


In looking in these fugitive forms for something concrete to perceive, might one discover splitting cells - a moment beyond conception, or perhaps incompatible twins in a test-tube waiting room? Or are they semi-precious stones, traces of pale turquoise or chalcedony being examined at 1000+ zoom? Still in the science lab, could this be the waiting contents of a dissection slab, eyeballs of Moby Dick, the terrifying white whale? (The disembodied jelly remains confronting to behold.) Or parting back, are we simply watching chemical process, where alkaline meets acid and channels and rivulets form in dynamic response? Among metaphors that attempt to settle might be the surface of distant, embryonic planets. There is room for speculation, uncertainty and slippage.