"Post-Apocalyptic Harvest" at Atelier 1205

Artists Erika Huddleston, Tammy West, and Amy Scofield salvage beauty from a sundered world

Landscape Recording Static/Dynamic by Erika Huddleston

In a small gallery within an architecture firm's headquarters in the urban heart of Austin, it's as if the apocalypse has already taken place. You know which apocalypse, of course: You've got Netflix or Hulu or whatever; hell, you've seen TV, you've been to the movies a few times in your life.

It's not that the Forsite Studio's building's interior has become any less tony, any less tidy, than its lovely exterior there on East Cesar Chavez. It's that the exhibition of visual art within this Atelier 1205 space has such a spot-on title for the works on display. It's called "Post-Apocalyptic Harvest," because it seems like the apocalypse has come and gone, but it happened out there somewhere, beyond the fields we know, and now someone's been creatively reaping what disaster and collapse have sown – and bringing it back for us to appreciate.

That "someone" is three artists: Erika Hud­dleston, Tammy West, and Amy Scofield. The pieces they've provided complement each other visually and texturally – curator Saul Jer­ome San Juan knows what's up – but there's also an implied sequential component that links these three discrete samplings of work.

Huddleston's oils on canvas and rougher materials capture the sort of viny, arboreal tangles that might proliferate during nature's resurgence after human achievement has been sundered. That many of her realist depictions of colorful botanical chaos are actually plein air renderings from New York City's Central Park, well, that just makes the apocalypse conceit ring more true, doesn't it? Aren't the jungled ruins of our biggest metropolitan hubs usually what's depicted when the end of civilization comes a-calling?

West, according to this sequence we're proposing, has followed, gathering up some of the natural detritus that Huddleston's been depicting portions of. She's taken twigs and leaves and their ilk and arranged them in compelling patterns, bound them encaustically for preservation's sake, presented them in convenient shapes and sizes for gallery viewing – as if trying to compensate for the order that's been destroyed. Here are handsome records in wax, of what will remain after all our vainglorious industry's kaput.

And Scofield, ever the eschaton's busy magpie, has matched West's methods in a materially inverse fashion: gathering not the natural ephemera and re-ordering them, but wrangling up the fabricated remnants of our proud world – the bright plastics, the shiny metals, the tubing and wires and chains – and turning them savage, shunting them beyond workaday linearity and arranging them in evocations of a less purely machined existence. Everything sold is new again.

So there's a winning trinity of creative harvesting for you to encounter on Atelier 1205's walls right now, is our point, citizen. Always a good thing to see before the apocalypse, n'est-ce pas?

“Post-Apocalyptic Harvest”

Atelier 1205, 1205 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/434-9046
Through Jan. 27

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Atelier 1205
"Likesness" at Northern-Southern
In this group exhibition, people who depict people are the luckiest people in the world

Wayne Alan Brenner, June 7, 2019

More Arts Reviews
"Andy St. Martin: The Weight" at Prizer Arts & Letters
In his newest show, the artist is, as ever, nothing if not commitment incarnate

Wayne Alan Brenner, Feb. 26, 2021

<i>The Swallowed Man</i> by Edward Carey
The Swallowed Man
The Austin author's rich and strange take on Pinocchio has Geppetto tell the story from the belly of the giant fish

Robert Faires, Feb. 5, 2021

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
Restaurants to the Rescue, Even When They Need Rescuing
Restaurants to the Rescue, Even When They Need Rescuing
We applaud Austin's badass service industry and its heroes

Feb. 24, 2021

Fab Slabs: Absolute Elegance and Solid Utility
Fab Slabs: Absolute Elegance and Solid Utility
These camphor laurel cutting boards are top notch from Down Under

Feb. 22, 2021


Atelier 1205, Erika Huddleston, Tammy West, Amy Scofield, Saul Jerome San Juan

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle