Art > Emerging Artists Showcase @ the Staunton Augusta Arts Center


"Embracing Entropy" Press Release information:

Mertens’ wearable and sonicsculptures quietly and grotesquely reveal the body as an object of contemplation to consider the dynamics of decay, self-reflection and recovery. Utilizing wool and steel to create forms reminiscent of internal organs and tumors via crochet, basketry, wet felting, and rust dyeing; objects become extension of the human figure. Amplified bodily sounds pushed to the point of distortion are the pulse and score animating the sculptures and enveloping the performers.

Mertens views the body as an archeological site. Scars, stretchmarks, and blemishes can be read like artifacts, glyphs or midden sites and the processes used in his artwork inform its content and metaphors. Raw wool mixed with ungalvanized steel is wet felted; causing the wool to contort in unpredictable ways and the steel to rust. The accumulation of stitches act as cells in the body and felting is the environment that forms us. The random shaping of the felting process is a metaphor for a lack of control and the rusting process leads to the “death” of the form over time.