Plant, Pollen, Sun and Sci-fi is a solo exhibition of Victoria Fuller’s at Dulgar Galllery at South Suburban College, in South Holland , IL, which explores influences of science, nature, surrealism, science fiction, 60’s pop art, kitsch Americana and gigantism.
The installation “Going Nuts,” is a pile of giant peanut shells made from flax fiber and is a hybrid of a human head and peanuts. This work gives a nod to Science Fiction, Surrealism, and 60’s Pop Art, where artists, like Claes Oldenberg enlarged food items into sculptures. Gigantism has been used in kitsch Americana, from the Oscar Myer wiener mobile, giant Paul Bunyon, to roadside stores in the shape of giant Ice cream cones, and Sci-Fi movies with aliens growing in pods, like in the 1956 science fiction movie “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Human heads in Peanut shells is also about industries playing with DNA, creating genetically modified organisms, combining things that shouldn’t be combined, in this case a hybrid of human (heads) and peanut plants.
The giant peanut plant and enlarged pollen structures in the exhibition bring the microscopic world of plants into the macro world, allowing us to observe them up close, much like instructional displays in natural history museums.
Part of the exhibition is an installation about the sun titled “Many Suns. Plants and people depend on the sun to live. Fuller has been exploring the radiating sphere form for years. Her “Many Suns” installation’s main focus is an actual NASA video of the sun with sun flares occurring in a looped sequence, which has been altered through animation with additional solar flares. The sun is a star and the video installation has a simplified graphic depiction of a star overlaid on top of it, as a mark of human culture, which uses graphic depictions of natural phenomenon as a means of simplifying communication. Anthropological research, throughout different ages and cultures, shows the sun depicted as a radiating sphere, and has been worshiped as the giver of life in different cultures. The different iterations of suns in Victoria Fuller’s installation are made from factory produced objects and fossil fuel resins – such as rubber gloves, resin cast octopus arms, woven basket, egg and sperm made from epoxy clay and string, saw blades, bicycle hooks, burnt matches, and a fabric and epoxy clay sunflower. These playful depictions of the sun are her anthropological interpretations and a tribute to the giver of life.