Artist: Jamey Grimes | Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
January 31 - March 14, 2020
Formicarium (2020), corrugated plastic, dimensions variable
The objects and environments that I create are fueled by encounters with natural forces, both real and imagined. Inspired by these encounters, I generate unique forms through the manipulation of synthetic materials. These forms accumulate, en masse, to engulf the viewer in an experience that is simultaneously unsettling and serene. My intent is to remind us of our relationships to forces of nature.
Synthetic materials establish a unique starting point for creating artwork that responds to nature. These tangible substances are selected because they have been cleansed of nature’s direct influence and reset by human manufacturing processes. Through abstraction and re-interpretation, patterns emerge from the medium and quickly emulate more complex natural designs. The juxtaposition of this dialogue reflects a human impulse to codify the natural world.
In Formicarium, plastic surfaces accumulate to form tunnels of light and shadow. Colors change over time, dynamically shifting the viewer’s interpretation of depth and form. A formicarium is a technical term for an ant farm. In this installation, the Jones-Carter gallery is transformed into a box full of tunnels, to be explored by humans, rather than ants. The carved and melted texture of the plastic walls might imply a network of tunnels at a smaller scale.
Artist Jamey Grimes attended Birmingham-Southern College to complete undergraduate degrees in Biology (BS), Painting (BFA), and a Mathematics Minor; he received an MFA in Sculpture from The University of Alabama. His collaborative interests focus on incorporating technology into sculptural installations, and his subject matter draws on scientific observations of the natural world. Grimes has shown his artwork in more than 100 exhibitions in almost 20 states. Exhibition locations include Austin Peay State University (TN); Huntsville, AL’s Lowe Mill ARTS and Entertainment; the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts; the Meridian Museum of Art; Wiregrass Museum; Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts; FAT Village in Ft. Lauderdale; and Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts. Permanent installations are in place at the Pinellas County Health Department in Largo, FL, Fairmont Chicago at Millennium Park, and Pinnacle Bank in Nashville, TN. Grimes was recently awarded the 2019 South Arts State Fellowship for Alabama. He is an Alabama State Council on the Visual Arts Fellowship Recipient and was the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa’s 2014 Visual Arts Educator of the Year.Artist Website