by Bhavna Meta
Oceanside Museum of Art, Oceanside, CA
through January 3rd
article by Cathy Breslaw
A Labor of Love
The Parker Gallery at the Oceanside Museum is a small contained space set apart from the other second floor spaces at the museum but when you arrive into Bhavna Meta’s exhibition Gush you are rewarded and comfortably transported to a dazzling richly hued and joyful array of visual delights that take you to another space and time. The genesis of this show was a set of 24 community workshops Mehta organized in North County San Diego where participants were asked to create patterns of all kinds and Mehta taught them skills in hand produced paper cutting with various tools provided. A large body of art created by the participants is on rotating view with a small video screen in the exhibition space. Through her experiences with participants and their creations, Mehta developed the ‘story’ she wanted to tell in her exhibition. Gush, the title of the exhibition, directly interpreted in the dictionary as ‘free flow and an effusive display’ perfectly describes the multitude of bright, multi-colored cut-out patterned strands of varying lengths pouring out of gray geometrically formed cylinders hanging from the walls in various places within the room. Also featured are four large rectangular works that serve as ‘windows’ that are then framed with brightly colored Indian patterns that capture within them in 3-D space, scenes of black cut-out figures doing various tasks and taking on differing perspectives and actions. These more representational forms of people and activities leave a lot up to the imagination to discern and describe. Reminiscent of Henri Matisse’s paper cuts he created in later life, Mehta’s exhibition is definitely a labor of love – as we can only imagine how long it took to create the multitude of paper-cut pieces included in this show.