In her recent work’ June Ahrens has explored repurposed and broken glass as material and metaphor. “What’s Left” is a new turn for Ahrens’ unified environment made up of a video surrounded by blue walls that are layered with dried pigment mixed with salt. This site-dependent piece, created for the Hays Gallery at the Silvermine Arts Center, evokes loss and fragility while channeling light through a landscape of broken glass.
The video serves as the primary element in the composition and contains many of the materials used in her environment. The integration of materials and images (including images of a human face and hands) invites the viewer to explore and embrace the residue of lives. Salt and glass enhance the imperfections of the walls, which become a metaphor for the imperfections in each of us. The surface partially hides some of the scarring but salt and pigment reveal it in a new way. Repurposed broken glass (clear or blue) is also part of the installation-random patterns of fallen shards will pool and reflect danger, pain, and vulnerability. Ahrens calls the work “a map of awareness.”