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Amber Lelli is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus in sculpture and printmaking. She recently completed her BFA at Middle Tennessee State University in December of 2015. She has received various awards and publications for her work as well as scholarships such as the David G. Ledoux Scholarship and Charles M. Brandon Scholarship of Art. Amber works as a sculptor and printmaking assist for Nashville-based sculptor Alan LeQuire and as a full time sculptor for Jonathan Martin Museum Arts based in Nashville, TN.
Her work has been featured in multiple exhibitions such as the internationally curated show, Compass, at Orange County Center for the Contemporary Arts in California, Small Wonders 3 at Arch Enemy Gallery in Philadelphia, PA and Surreal Salon 7 at Baton Rouge Gallery, Center for Contemporary Arts in Luisiana. On display last year, Amber, along with Whitney Proper and Sadie Monroe, completed a sculpture installation for Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in partnership with Arts at the Airport for the Nashville International Airport, BNA. Recently, Amber completed teaching a series of workshops as part of Found Narratives: Stories Inspired by Shinique Smith for the Frist Center for the Arts in Nashville, TN as well as taking part in the juried exhibition Anthology: Narratives from Nashvilles Print Community, also at the Frist in 2016.
For the past few years I have been making work that intended to make permanent the impermanence of the body as a source for pain, trauma, and truth. In both bronze and print they existed as enigmas that mimicked my perspective of how the audience would interact with me as an individual. With the work taking on the nature of an enigma it brought attention to the social interactions between viewers of the artwork and viewers of the artist. At the time, I felt that I could be understood through the work and the work was a translation of that. While much of the subject matter depicted was based entirely off of re-occurring situations in my life, each was specific to the time of its creation. I created in the hopes to bring understanding to the misunderstanding in our lives, for this reason much of the language was macabre, neither directly negative nor directly positive, it was visceral, finite, and yet infinite. The final pieces were never conclusions, but premises.
My latest work is a slight departure. The construction of these works functioned similarly to writing individual lab reports that were testing the validity of my previous thoughts. In their creation I was using visual characteristics such as grouping, voids, material choice, and color as my experimental factors. Grouping to talk about both interpersonal and general relationships between individuals. The lack of the face is more so read as the presence of the void, although these voids are not to be read as empty. These voids represent an active space; they can be full of thought, emotion, solitude, reflection, and projection. The characteristic of color speaks to aesthetic decisions and a spiritual nature that further the existentialism of the void. The processes of making these were my labs while the finished work is the report. Unlike a scientist who works for resolution these too also end with a premise of ambiguity. Previous thoughts have been proven temporarily void and while the work is still macabre, neither directly negative nor directly positive, visceral, finite, and infinite it's autobiographical nature is much more illusive and more autonomy steps into play.