Buffalo, NY – Today the Albright-Knox Art Gallery announced a new public art installation by artist Shasti O’Leary Soudant (American, born 1967) at theNFTA Allen/Medical Campus Station as part of the AK Public Art Initiative.
Soudant is a Buffalo-based artist who employs various mediums and materials to create objects and immersive experiences. These aim to explore hidden systems that, when structured in algorithmic or systematic arrangements, result in unexpected and surprising outcomes.
Soudant’s installation comprises six stainless-steel sculptures. Collectively titled Gut Flora, the colorful, eleven-foot-tall structures are inspired by bacteria and constructed of individually powder-coated steel sections. These sections are joined to make helical forms that extend from floor to ceiling, creating the illusion that they penetrate both surfaces.
The title Gut Flora refers to the recent scientific determination that beneficial bacteria are essential to good health and should be cultivated and encouraged. If we were to consider the tunnels, concourses, and stations of the City of Buffalo’s public transportation system as analogous to the circulatory and digestive systems of the human body, it is only natural that these are populated by forms related to biological flora and fauna.
The work will be fabricated locally in conjunction with the Rigidized Metals Corporation in Buffalo, associated with the artist’s tenure there as the organization’s inaugural artist-in-residence.
Other recent Public Art Initiative projects include Roberley Bell’s Locus Amoenusinstallation at the Tifft Nature Preserve; Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn’s muralNoodle in the Northern Lights at Shea’s 710 Theatre; Kaarina Kaikkonen’s installationWe Share A Dream, currently on view at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport; Jenny Kendler’s Milkweed Dispersal Balloons and ReWilding New York (Community Seed Stations), a two-fold work that took place over the summer of 2015; Shayne Dark’s 2015 exhibition Natural Conditions and residency at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens; Jaume Plensa’s Silent Poets, on view through October 2016 at Canalside; Casey Riordan's Shark Girl; Tape Art’s Buffalo Caverns, a massive, temporary mural made with low-adhesive drawing tape on the north wall of the Central Library branch of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library; a billboard- and sticker-based iteration of Matthew Hoffman’s You Are Beautiful project, made possible in part through a partnership with Lamar Advertising; and Charles Clough’s collaboratively produced Hamburg Arena Painting, which is installed in the newly constructed wing of the Hamburg Public Library. The Public Art Initiative has also distributed 30,000 art kits to students throughout Erie County.
The Public Art Initiative is supported by the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.