Twist Of Fate

Stone’s Throw by Marsha Balian
13.5″x13.5″; acrylic paint, found antique photographs, pencil on paper, remnants sheet music, found stones and oil paint on wood panel; 2019
Courtesy of the artist.

Twist Of Fate

at Gearbox Gallery in Oakland, California, USA
21 November 2019-4 January 2020
Opening Reception: 7 December, 2-4PM

The element of surprise and chance is obviously integral to the intuitive/creative process of both Marsha Balian and Linda Ellinwood. Although their work is unique and quite different, that is the commonality and the reason Balian’s assemblages of found materials and Ellinwood’s sculptures of organic materials are harmonious. The beginning point for each of their works seems to arise from random materials carefully arranged rather than from a concept or preconceived notion. Each piece takes form and finds its own way to completion. That is not to suggest that the process is accidental. Both artists create their art from two dimensional and/or three dimensional objects, each piece of which seems to anticipate and require every other piece through to completion.

Sticky Wicked by Linda Ellinwood
26″x18″x13″; acacia thorns, seaweed, driftwood; 2019
Courtesy of the artist.

Much of Balian’s art is about people, their thoughts and dreams, interactions and mindsets, hopes and fears. There is a seriousness beneath what may initially seem purely whimsical. She creates human dramas with questions to be answered and with some clues but it is up to each of us to personalize the meaning for ourselves. Much of her work is tonal and subdued; although there may be bits of brilliant red, there is typically a warm golden veil that furthers a sense of timelessness. The people who inhabit her work do so in the past and present, in spirit and mind.

Ellinwood’s sculptures are composed of organic seeds, pods, pieces of found wood, thorns and the like but are much more than a reflection of the natural world. Her creations are chimeras, things that may be hoped or wished for, may be friendly or a little scary, but in fact are illusory or impossible to achieve. She has created a mythical landscape. The seeming fragility of her objects is deceiving. In actuality, they are powerful and strangely evocative. If Ellinwood had been a composer she would likely have created an entire symphony of unique instruments to produce magical music like no other. 

(text adapted from the curator’s press materials)


Gearbox Gallery
770 West Grand Avenue
Oakland, California 94612 USA

Thursday-Friday, 12-6PM
Saturday 11AM-5PM