Bland intertwines traditions of painting and weaving to confound the boundaries of abstraction and representation, geometry and symbolism, and ornamentation and structure. Throughout the works in the exhibition, these investigations coalesce around a single form, the body of a snake. This motif appears, twists and metamorphosizes, as a figure coiled at the bottom of ‘Nest,’ as an abstracted patterning device that conflates the snake’s skin with the textile depicting it in ‘Drink This,’ as a geometric compositional tool in ‘Broken Clock (Twice a Day),’ and, in the case of the sculpture, a suggestion that the woven skeins hanging from the ceiling are the skin of the snake itself.
But the snake’s skin is more than the surface of its patterned armor—it is the border between the body and the world. The snake’s seldom-seen underbelly is sensitive to the vibrations of the earth, absorbing distant events through the rocks and dust; a metaphor for the porous interconnectedness of the unseen.