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Constantly monitoring Twitter for anything related to “geodes” paid off in a major way when I read about an art installation involving geodes and neon light. I emailed the artist, Zackry Wiegand, and learned the exhibit was closing that week, so my Thursday night had swift plans to visit the art studio Gallery 225 in Harlem.
Zackry met us at the door to the art gallery, which is a very handsome building for starters. A lot of old wood went into the refurbishment of the gallery, and the lighting is very strategic. There is plenty of lighting from targeted bulbs and fixtures. There were no big hanging or ceiling neon or fluorescent lights hanging from the very high ceiling, but we were entering an installation where neon light is a critical component.
Zackry was very generous and gracious to grant us this interview, and in it he describes his own early rockhounding experience with his family, the use of neon light with purple fluorite, geodes, and labradorite, and his scientific experimentation exposing the stone to variants of neon light. In addition to the science, Zackry explains the connection between the celestial bodies to the earth and the geodes it holds.
“Subtle Bodies” was a thought provoking installation as you observed and pondered the juxtaposition of neon light and stone, and his artwork is an example of changing the juxtapositiion of the light and earth to a complementary relationship. In the interview he explains this connection and how his work expresses and communicates this relationship.
We were lucky to learn about this exhibit’s last days from Twitter and I was thinking about what Zackry said in the interview the last time I was in Indiana in fact, Thanksgiving weekend 2015, digging out geodes to crack open.