Lydia Kern multimedia exhibit opens Friday at Epsilon Spires
The artwork of Lydia Kern will be on display at Epsilon Spires through the end of June.

Lydia Kern multimedia exhibit opens Friday at Epsilon Spires

BRATTLEBORO — On Friday, April 1, at 5 p.m., Epsilon Spires will present PASSAGES, an exhibit of artwork by sculptor and installation artist Lydia Kern. The opening celebration will include a performance by the band Fievel is Glauque, and Vermont Organist of the Year Jenny Bower will play selected works at the closing reception on Saturday, June 25.

Kern said in a news release that the work she will show at Epsilon Spires “is influenced by meditations on love and grief, mysticism, Celtic mythology, quilting bees and rose gardens.”

The multimedia exhibit is composed of seven wall pieces, one installation with video, and three doorway sculptures that are between six and seven feet tall. “Together, the works form a large physical poem that the viewer can walk within,” says Kern.

Currently a resident of Burlington, Kern graduated from the University of Vermont in 2015 with degrees in social work and studio art. She has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, the Lab Program in Mexico City, and New City Galerie.

Kern's sculptural pieces combine tangible objects related to her personal experiences with pieces of translucent vinyl fabric that create ephemeral passages of light and colored shadows. The result is part portal and part reliquary, evoking the stained glass windows of a church and the containers used to hold sacred objects. The exhibit will be in close conversation with the architecture of the historic church building that was renovated in 2019 to house Epsilon Spires.

The materials Kern collects for her work range from dried flowers and medicinal herbs to plastic shopping bags, creating contextual meaning and beauty in unexpected ways, states a news release.

“My work has led me to forage in dumpsters, compost piles, apothecaries, free boxes, fabric stores, and florist shops,” says Kern. “My process reflects on acts of care as I collect, reclaim, and prepare materials and objects to exist in new relationships with one another.”

The band Fievel is Glauque consists primarily of multi-instrumentalist Zach Phillips, formerly of the Brattleboro experimental pop group Blanche Blanche Blanche, and Belgian singer Ma Clément. Their “freewheeling sound,” notes a news release, incorporates a rotating cast of guest musicians playing an eclectic mix of instruments and styles, with their 2021 release God's Trashmen Sent to Right the Mess featuring upward of 30 musicians.

Jenny Bower performs locally in solo organ concerts as well as accompanying the Burlington Choral Society, the Aurora Singers, and other groups. “My musical practice is focused on mechanical action organs, which feature a dynamic, tactile relationship between player and sound,” says Bower, adding that their performance at Epsilon Spires “will highlight the organ with shimmery textures, soft hymn-like melodies, deep dissonances, and resolute counterpoint.”

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