Grace Sachi Troxell

Grace Sachi Troxell

September 7 – October 11, 2024

Grace Sachi Troxell uses clay and found objects as the foundation of her sculptures, exploring entanglements between organic and inorganic materials, form and deformity, and digestion. For her exhibition at Open Source Gallery, Troxell will create a large-scale site-specific pea plant made of steel and clay. This steel pea plant will be filled with clay “peas” that are fragmentary portraits of family members intermingled with vegetables. By mixing ancient and contemporary technology with clay, the work draws attention to the ways in which technology alters food and bodies.

The German-Czech biologist Gregor Mendel used the common pea as the plant to experiment with as he founded what is now known as genetics. Mendel’s Punnett squares – a square diagram that is used to predict the genotypes of a particular cross or breeding experiment – investigated hybridization by crossing pure-breeding parent plants with different forms of a characteristic, such as tall peas with dwarf peas, purple flower peas with white peas. These experiments were about dominant and recessive genes. By using the pea pod Troxell aims to complicate the ways that we think of lineage and heredity in a critical and humorous way exploring her Japanese, German, and Irish ancestry.