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York College Art Gallery

Installation View

Io Palmer

Deep Water Horizon

October 23 - December 5, 2014

Deep Water Horizon examines forces in opposition, but remarkably parallel, existing between two unrelated events: the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the presentation of Lebanese designer Elie Saab’s gold gowns for his 2012 winter couture collection.

A grid of saw horses props up wooden “spill” forms representing shimmering stagnant gold lamésque surfaces hovering above the gallery floor. These surfaces chart actual oil spills (as seen from satellite imagery) using metal and plastic notions to adorn garments. The notions collecting on the surfaces of these shapes allude to encrustations, growths, or pustules gone amuck on the beaded hem of a lavish garment. Deep Water Horizon reflects on the excesses of our competitive capitalist society using accessible glittery things to symbolize how extravagance distracts us from acting on the blatant disparities in wealth and power in our nation.

Artist Biography:

Io Palmer grew up on the Greek island of Hydra.

Through depictions of cleaning products, laborers’ garments and various other industrial and domestic forms, her artworks explore issues of class, capitalism and societal excess. Trained originally as a ceramicist, Palmer uses a variety of processes and materials including fabric, steel, sound and wood.

Palmer’s work has been featured in national and international exhibitions including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Dakart-International Arts Biennial, Dakar, Senegal; Working History, Reed College, Portland, OR; Hair Follies, Concordia University, Montreal; Inside Out, Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD and solo exhibitions at Deluge Contemporary, Victoria, BC; The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, Oregon. She has participated in several artist residencies including the Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi, India; the Santa Fe Art Institute; Art Channel, Beijing, China and the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming.

Palmer received an Idaho Commission on the Arts Grant in 2014.

She holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia and an MFA from the University of Arizona. Palmer is currently associate professor of fine arts at Washington State University, Pullman, WA.