Artist Finds the Zen of Hurricane Harvey

Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, February 6, 2020

What do butterflies and dripping honey have to do with Hurricane Harvey?

These are among the images that intrigue me as I sink into the cushy seat in Lawndale Art Center’s largest gallery to soak up Virginia Lee Montgomery’s dreamy, four-screen video installation “SKY LOOP.” The seat is actually a sculpture, “Head Stone,” made of memory foam squares, which I have not previously considered so metaphorically. A largish river stone in the center creates a dimple: Mattress pile meets Asian rock garden. 


The nine-and-a-half minute “Sky Loop” video captures the oddly tranquil sight of a woman rowing a canoe through a forested and flooded neighborhood in a steady rain. A golden substance drips in a slow layer over the landscape. Motor oil? No, this is honey, a substance recognized for its curative powers, Vogel’s essay says. Other scenes show the artist on a high, drifted bank of Buffalo Bayou, running her hands through the sand and close-ups of sand slipping a woman’s hand, as if through an hour glass. The hands belong to three women of different ages – Montgomery, her mother and grandmother.


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