October 22 – November 20, 2022
Opening: Saturday, October 22, 5:30 – 8pm
Karen Heagle, Elizabeth Insogna and Kay Turner present “Hekate’s Grove”, an exhibition of sculpture, painting and performance through late October and November – the season of the witch. With their work, Heagle, Insogna and Turner unfold the archetype of ‘Hekate’, the Greek goddess of the occult, who traverses both the ancient and the futuristic.
A fitting presentation for the season of the witch, Hekate’s Grove is a three-person exhibition featuring Karen Heagle(painter), Elizabeth Insogna (sculptor) and Kay Turner (performer and folklorist). The installation of works and performances unfold the archetype of Hekate for twenty-first century contemplation and inspiration from her symbolic access point as Greek underworld deity, to one, which unveils other occult dimensions in fuller detail and focus. These include her dissolution of barriers between the animal and human realm, her connection to older chthonic forms of the goddess, and her widely regarded agency as an autonomous deity who serves no master, not even Zeus, yet is a profoundly compassionate provider and caretaker.
Insogna’s ceramic sculpture installation, The Incantation, The Triangle and The Well (Hekate’s Cave) introduces works ranging from the semi-abstract to the hybrid, referencing wings, serpents, living flames, plant-animal forms and other entities in between. Embedded with carved magical symbols, the sculptures are in correspondence with the goddess through a poetic language inscribed in visual form as well as using layers of glaze and interference overlay.
Heagle’s large scale paintings of symbolic wild creatures depict acts of predation suggesting the various guises of Hekate, the enchantment of corpses and decay, the liminal spaces between eros and death, and ecstatic transformations at the crossroads. The blunt physicality of paint handling and charged colors accented with gold leaf reveal Hekate’s power to override the divide between life and death.
Turner’s task is activation of the installation through participatory ritual and performance, giving audience initiates a sense of Hekate’s singular vitality and energizing liminality. Her symbol-filled toolkit of epithets, torches, crossroads, keys, detritus, ghosts, gold, fire, and food offerings is employed to provide access to the threshold of opposition and resolution where she sits in queer defiance of restrictive binaries and normative assumptions.
About the artists:
Karen Heagle is a painter whose work reflects autobiographical symbolism, thematically focused on wildlife subjects, memento mori, feminism, and queer identity. She has exhibited widely in New York City, including most recently her 7th solo exhibition at Sargent’s Daughters in 2019. Past exhibitions include Beat a collaboration with sculptor Kate Gilmore at On Stellar Rays, NYC, 2017, and Found: Queer Archeology /Queer Abstraction at the Leslie Lohman Museum. Her work is in the Museum of Modern Art NYC ’s Contemporary Drawing Collection. She holds an MFA from Pratt Institute and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Elizabeth Insogna creates ceramic sculptures, vessels, and installations centered within the symbolic and metaphysical as related to the divine feminine and ancient magic. Past solo exhibitions include Tracing the Spirit at RAR gallery in Berlin and Psyche’s Reason in NYC as well as a two person show, Doesn’t Hold Water at Underdonk. She has participated in group exhibitions at The Abrons Art Center, The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, and The National Arts Club. Her work has been featured in Artsy, Magic Praxis, Huffington Post, Abraxas Journal, and Hyperallergic. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Kay Turner is an artist and scholar working across disciplines including performance, writing, music, and folklore. Since 2012 Turner’s performance works and writing have revolved around an exploration of the witch figure in folklore and history. Her books include What a Witch: Before and After, with Zini Lardieri (2021); Transgressive Tales: Queering the Grimms, with Pauline Greenhill (2012) and Beautiful Necessity: The Art and Meaning of Women’s Altars (1999). She taught for 20 years in the Performance Studies Department at NYU and is a past president of the American Folklore Society. Turner lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Austin, TX.
Additional collaborating artists Terry Dame (sound artist) and Nazmo Dance Collective (Danielle Kipnis with dancers Emla and Sarazina)
Saturday, Oct. 22, 6-8pm: Opening Reception. The artists offer a brief ritual at 7pm to open the Grove.
Sunday Oct. 30, 3-5pm: “A Hekate Supper,” Part 1 (Abjection/Separation). Kay Turner activates the Grove, performing with invited artists and welcoming audience participation.
Thursday, Nov. 3, 6:30-8:30pm: “Goddess Help Us: Why Art and the Goddess Matter Now”. A panel discussion and Q&A with audience engagement. Panelists include Leah DeVun, Amy Hale, Elizabeth Insogna, Karen Heagle, and Kay Turner.
Sunday Nov. 6, 3-5pm: “A Hekate Supper,” Part 2 (Ecstasy/Return). Kay Turner celebrates the Grove by performing with invited artists and welcoming audience participation.
Sunday Nov. 20, 3-5pm: Closing Reception. The artists offer a brief ritual at 5pm to close the Grove
For more information contact [email protected]
Gallery hours: Thurs.-Sun., 1-6pm