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.