Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, 3925 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140

The title, Liguus, refers to a tree snail native to the greater Everglades, after which the sculpture is modeled. Since beginning this project, it has very suddenly come to the brink of certain extinction, being devoured by an invasive flatworm. It is one of a few characters in this story. Another is the African monk orchid, seen through water in the sculpture’s interior space. This orchid was once listed as an invasive species itself, but after traveling through Florida, adapting and hybridizing, it has obtained the status of “naturalized”. That is, it is now able to share its environment without harming the diversity of life around it. A third character is the self, which creates the work in perceiving it. We see a landscape submerged in water, magnified and fragmented across the sculpture’s facets. It is our mind that puts it together, that reflexively stitches a cohesive reality.

In the words of the artist: “I’m exhausted by the futility of only looking for answers in terms of posited facts. In this work I would like to invite a resistance to the urge to draw conclusions and conquer complexity. Between the formlessness of ignorance and the rigidity of settled knowing, can I remain aware, in relationship with the world? Rather than interact with a world that is only a mirror of my wants and expectations, can I be the mirror for a dying snail or a reformed orchid? Like this snail, which is not situated in the landscape but permeated by it, can I open myself to be invaded by the world?”

Brookhart Jonquil’s work engages aspects of the world that lie beyond our ability to directly perceive. Reflecting, multiplying, and shifting, his compositions of glass, mirror, water, and lights create a perceptual world beyond the physical, yet rooted in materiality. By emphasizing space, light, gravity, and lines of force in dynamic equilibrium, his sculptures make tangible the immaterial interactions that are the foundation of our embodied experience. Through wide ranging research that includes physics, ecology, martial arts and mathematics, his work explores the underlying principles that create harmony and stability in dynamic systems, whether that be a society, an ecosystem, or an individual mind. Scientific modes of thinking become poetic as they turn toward the improbable task of finding Utopian perfection within the realities of the world we live in.

Brookhart Jonquil was born in Santa Cruz, California in 1984. He lives and works in Miami. Jonquil’s projects have been commissioned by the Bass Museum of Art, the De la Cruz Collection, MoCA Tucson, Vizcaya Museum, and the Cornell Art Museum. Jonquil received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010, where he was awarded a graduate fellowship. He earned both a BFA in studio art and a BA in art history from the University of Arizona.

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