Sunday, December 27th saw the opening of Cica Ghost’s latest installation Roots. Like all of her installations, it is a beautifully fascinating piece; one which clearly draws on some of her earlier pieces, offering a new interpretation of them while at the same time presenting something that is both captivating and tinged with a soulfulness that is quite moving.
The clearest inspiration for the installation is Cica’s marvellous Little Village from March 2014. The little houses, clinging to their little hills, paths running around and between them, are all here; but something is very different. The gay colours have faded, the paths are in places broken, frameless windows stare sightless across a darkening landscape, while doorways sit slack-jawed without doors,
Cica tells us, “The people have gone… the village remains, and time and nature now live here …” and so it is. Roots rise up from the ground and spring from gaunt trees, passing through empty windows to rise through roofs, while trees sprout new growth where once chimneys puffs the comforting smoke from fireplaces, and the fences alongside the paths broken and bent.
Sitting under s sombre sky, the little village slowly surrenders itself to nature, quietly decaying and fading. Even the bright flowers have been mostly replaced by poppies, the flower so often associated with sacrifice and death. However, this shouldn’t be taken to mean all is dark and foreboding here.
There is a melancholy beauty within Roots which has to be seen to be appreciated. There is something also Burton-esque in its construction that tugs at the heart; walking through the village, it is hard not to be captivated and enthralled. And when you do, you’ll come across other touches echoing Cica’s earlier works. A face peeking around the window of one house hints at Strings, while a strong echo of Dreamers can be found in the form of sculpted heads; a suggestion that what we are seeing is but a dream, or simply decorative pieces left with the rest of the village?
Should you wish, you can also take the air, balloons float, hover, drift and bob their way around the village, and you can hop a ride on them. Whether you float via balloon, walk (or do both), do be sure to have the audio stream on as well; the music does much to complement the installation, helping to enhance one’s feelings and response to the build.
I make no secret of my admiration for Cica’s work; her imagery, her use of motifs, her presentation and the joy she brings to her art always captivates me. At the same time, she can often challenge our thinking or our perceptions as she tells a story through her work.
Roots is another wonderful piece, and one not to be missed. It’s also one I made sure I made time to film, having missed the opportunity with Prison and Strings.
- Roots (Rated: Moderate)