April Gornik
Bower, 2006
Jacquard tapestry
95 x 71.5 in.
edition of 9

I make art that makes me question, that derives its power from being vulnerable to interpretation.
– April Gornik

Bower combines two of April Gornik’s signature motifs: a sense of nascent mystery and dramatic tension, and an emphasis on using the physicality of a medium as a vehicle for emotional impact. Bower’s cluster of slender trees stretch from a densely shadowed horizon to a sky that is almost entirely filled with a cloudlike mass of foliage. The arterial network of their trunks conveys an ambiguous sense of movement, implying both an upward growth and a rivulet-like descent. There is a weight, an unnamed presence in the cloudlike density of their upper portions which suggests a metaphysical realm, an ethereal unknown space. The sky’s brief swath of light acts as a moat, traversed by the trees as if by a series of bridges linking this shadowy realm with the corporeal firmness of the earth below. Meanwhile, the scale and presence of the tapestry enables the viewer to engage with Gornik’s imagery on a somatic level. The mystery and quiet tension of the charcoal drawing upon which Bower is based permeate the work’s layered fibers to the point of saturation: the tapestry acts as a body, charged with the compelling animism of Gornik’s composition.