Not knowing much about the Pantheon of Ayervedic or Celtic goddesses, I was unsure how to approach this art show initially, but, Susan Pullman-Brooks’ “Sacred Luminosity” made me a believer. Not only does she breathe life into a myriad of found objects, she captures the essence of something at once sacred and personal.
Gallery AWA (61 Greenpoint Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn) seems to have been designed to complement Pullman’s work. Three of the walls are made of recycled wood — its earthy tones creating an atmosphere warmer than typically white-walled galleries. The light is beautiful, a mixture of natural light and overhead spots accenting each piece.
Pullman-Brooks uses reclaimed materials — metal car parts, wooden frames, animal bones, and brass orbs — that limit the size of her work to what she collects. Even so, many of the sculptures have the energetic presence of much larger works. “Aditi” and “Arianrhod” for instance, reach up to the sky with looping exuberant arms. Likewise, the dramatic “Devi Kavaca” and “Lagertha” stand tall and proud like soldiers guarding a dark secret.
Her smaller table-sized pieces are lavish yet self-contained, like charms on the bracelet of a giant. I liked the silver and pewter grey “Shiva Kavaca.” At once ancient and futuristic, she sits solidly in the center while small orbiting planets hang in the balance. “Morrigan” and “Brigid” with their circular shapes, are like sisters; each with a personality of her own, but clearly a part of the same family.
Her work is reminiscent of Joseph Cornell’s boxes in their quirky intricacy. While Pullman-Brook’s technique is more formal than Cornell’s, each of her pieces holds a similar power and magic that captivates the imagination. Cornell created idiosyncratic stories with his work while Pullman-Brooks draws from the goddesses of the Celtic and Ayervedic traditions.
But, just how her work relates to those goddesses is up for interpretation. I was not surprised to learn of Pullman-Brooks’ yoga practice, for each of her sculptures has the essence of an individual body, retaining a cohesive center that is both their strength and their beauty.
Gallery AWA will feature ‘Sacred Luminosity’ by Susan Pullman-Brooks through Friday, June 16. The exhibition takes place at 61 Greenpoint Avenue (between Franklin and West Streets) in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Visit their website for more details.