Shane Pennington’s Transcendence engages the core of his artistic inquiries on a new level of spatiality and scale. Using the traditional Karesansui Japanese rock garden as an inspirational template, Pennington transforms the traditionally earth-bound elements of the garden into a dialogue between the environment and humanity.
The Karesansui rock garden customarily activates space through the composition of various rocks and the interplay between their stability and the transience of the other surrounding elements. In Transcendence, Pennington encases the rocks within single blocks of ice that have been carved into larger-than-life human forms. Shipped from Belgium, where the purist block ice is found, to the United States, the artistic medium itself has undergone a journey before the final piece is installed. Each block of ice required six weeks to be made, requiring intense craft to ensure a seamless final form. The result is the collision between pure materialities: the pure ice block and the stone encased within.
As the ice of the human body melts, the rock will gently return to the garden. Herein the transformation lies in the interplay between elements in space and time. A concept of self is expanded to include a greater universe, a greater connective and elemental collective consciousness.