Sean Connaughty's Nesting Instinct

[caption id="attachment_698" align="alignright" width="229" caption="Sean Connaughty relaxing in his nest. photo by Eric Melzer"][/caption]

Imagine a village of humans that evolved directly from birds or small rodents.  In this reality, instead of having a need to build large, permanent structures, people have kept a nesting instinct. These alternate human beings have no use for blue prints or analytical planning, but instead make structures built from intuition that travels directly from spine to hand.

This might come close to the type of world multi-media artist Sean Connaughty suggests in his new installation entitled “O” at XYandZ Gallery in South Minneapolis.

I met up with Connaughty at the opening of“O” last Saturday evening. The Gallery was filled with the large “pod” shelters made of woven branches. These structures bring to mind thoughts of human nests or cocoons or maybe something more like giant vegetal placentas. Some are soft with a layer of fluffy, woolly bedding. Throughout the gallery, these pods are suspended at various levels with women lounging inside of them.  Amongst this camp, a small low pod, packed with snow, broadcasts weather reports from inside. It slowly melts leaving puddles all over the floor. I can't decide if the scene reminds me more of a tribe of missing links or the compound of a fringe cult. But maybe that's just splitting hairs.

[caption id="attachment_682" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mouth Pod"][/caption]

Sean Connaughty is open and kind but very quiet.  Connaughty says that he has been making these pods for about a year now. “I started with some green branches, and what I wanted to do is see if I could just use the physics of the material to hold it together”, Connaughty told me. “It's all about the bending and the tension of the branches “.  His first pods were small, only a foot or so across but the pieces in this show are large enough to make you wonder how they got through the Gallery doors.

[caption id="attachment_684" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Resting in Shelter. photo by Eric Melzer"][/caption]

Connaughty's focus is on responding to and transforming objects in his immediate surroundings. He works in a purely instinctive and tactile way, immersing himself in the experience. When asked where the branches came from Connaughty told me, “I follow the city tree trimming trucks around and use the branches. I've made friends with a guy on the crew”. Seeing these pods, it's not hard to imagine Connaughty crouching over a pile like a busy, twitchy squirrel, piecing its nest together, hardwired to make his own home. “Sometimes I sleep in them”, he told me. (Predating the Lady Gaga pod episode).

“O” is thought provoking, sincere and one of the few art events that is just plain magical. Sean Connaughty pulls off what few artists are able to do; he creates an interesting and convincing otherworld.

The snow pod may have melted and the models from the opening have probably climbed out of the pods and gotten on with their lives, but the magic is still there. Go see the show before it closes!

-John Megas

O by Sean Connaughty

XYandZ
dates: feb 19- mar 19
gallery hours: thur-sun 12-6
3258 minnehaha ave s mpls mn 55406

Here is a video Sean Connaughty made of the pods in action:

This article has been archived from the original MPLSART.COM site. It may contain dead links, broken images, and formatting issues. We are working to fix these as much as possible. Thank you for your patience.

#mplsart
If you are making art or looking at art in the Twin Cities, use the hashtag to show it off.
OPENINGS & EVENTS
Mon May 1st 7PM - 9PM CST
Bethel University - Johnson
3900 Bethel Dr, Minneapolis
Fri May 5th 6PM - 8PM CST
Bockley Gallery
2123 W 21st St, Minneapolis
Fri May 5th 6PM - 8PM CST
Katherine E. Nash Gallery
405 21st Ave S, Minneapolis
Fri May 5th 7PM - 9PM CST
Light Grey Art Lab
118 East 26th St, Minneapolis
Fri May 5th 7PM - 9PM CST
Light Grey Art Lab
118 East 26th St, Minneapolis
May 6th - May 7th
Midtown Farmers Market
2225 E Lake St, Minneapolis
Sat May 6th 5:30PM - 9:30PM CST
Traffic Zone
250 3rd Ave N, Minneapolis
Sat May 6th 6PM - 9PM CST
Vine Arts Center
2637 27th AVE S, Minneapolis
Wed May 10th 6PM - 9PM CST
Le Méridien Chambers
901 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
May 11th - Aug 12th
Intermedia Arts
2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
Fri May 12th 12AM - 12AM CST
The Show Gallery
346 N. Sibley ST, St. Paul
Fri May 12th 6PM - 8PM CST
Northern Clay Center
2424 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
Fri May 12th 6PM - 8PM CST
Weinstein Gallery
908 West 46th St, Minneapolis
Fri May 12th 7PM - 9PM CST
Gallery 122 at Hang It
122 8th Street SE, Minneapolis
Fri May 12th 7PM - 9PM CST
David Petersen Gallery
2018 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
May 11th - Aug 12th
Intermedia Arts
2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
Sat May 13th 5PM - 8PM CST
Showroom
615 W Lake St, Minneapolis
Sat May 13th 7PM - 10PM CST
Rosalux Gallery
1400 Van Buren Street NE, Minneapolis
May 19th - May 21st
Kate Iverson Studio
1101 Stinson Blvd, Minneapolis
Sat May 20th 7PM - 10PM CST
Hennes Art Company
160 Glenwood AVE N, Minneapolis
Thu Jun 15th 4PM - 6PM CST
LaSalle Art Gallery
15 S 9th ST, Minneapolis
NOW SHOWING
Apr 1st - May 6th
David Petersen Gallery
2018 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
Apr 20th - May 12th
Gamut Gallery
717 S 10th St, Minneapolis
Apr 1st - May 13th
Circa Gallery
210 N First St, Minneapolis
Apr 7th - May 13th
Denler Gallery
3003 Snelling Ave N, St. Paul
Apr 25th - May 13th
Regis Center For Art Quarter Gallery
405 21st Ave S, Minneapolis
Apr 14th - May 20th
Soo Visual Arts Center
2909 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis
Apr 13th - May 20th
Form + Content Gallery
210 N 2nd St, Minneapolis
Apr 21st - May 20th
Light Grey Art Lab
118 East 26th St, Minneapolis
Apr 8th - May 20th
Soo Visual Arts Center
2909 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis
Apr 8th - May 20th
Soo Visual Arts Center
2909 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis
Jan 28th - May 21st
Weisman Art Museum
333 E River Pkwy, Minneapolis
Apr 22nd - May 25th
Hair And Nails Gallery
2222 1/2 E 35th ST, Minneapolis
Apr 6th - May 27th
Bethel University - Olson Gallery
3900 Bethel Dr, St. Paul
Mar 10th - May 28th
Minnesota Center For Book Arts
1011 Washington Avenue S, Minneapolis
Apr 22nd - May 28th
Flanders + Associates
818 West Lake St, Minneapolis
Feb 9th - May 31st
Track 29 City Apartments
2841 Bryant AVE S, Minneapolis
Nov 5th - Jun 3rd
Glick Gallery
811 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis
Apr 29th - Jun 3rd
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis
Apr 29th - Jun 3rd
Groveland Annex
25 Groveland Tr, Minneapolis
Apr 22nd - Jun 10th
Kolman Pryor Gallery
1500 Jackson St NE #395, Minneapolis
Mar 16th - Jun 25th
Mia's U.S. Bank Gallery
2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis
Feb 25th - Jun 30th
801 Washington Lofts
801 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis
Apr 20th - Jun 30th
Ditch Gallery
400 1st Ave N #535, Minneapolis
Apr 29th - Jul 1st
Midway Contemporary Art
527 Second Avenue SE, Minneapolis