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The Big Picture: Art by Field Kallop

An installaion at the Tremaine Gallery by artist Field Kollop is both traditional and contemporary, reflecting the artist’s ongoing interest in metaphysics and quantum science.

Field Kallop is an artist whose primary tool is gravity. Her exhibition, The Melody of Structures, currently on view at The Tremaine Gallery at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, is an elegant contemplation of physics, mathematics, and the unseen structure of nature. The work is hard to categorize because it is at once drawing, sculpture, installation, and — during a recent public event when she constructed the piece — performance.


As approximately fifty observers stood around the periphery of the gallery, Kallop calmly presided over the space. A trained dancer, her spare movements were both graceful and functional. Her stage was defined by a grid of twenty-eight directed overhead track lights. Twenty-eight evenly spaced lengths of cord hung from the rafters. Seven quartets of plastic bottles, and eight containers of sand sat in clusters at one edge of the space. Kallop methodically filled each bottle with a precise amount of sand, taped the orifice of each bottle, then attached each bottle to the end of one of the tethers. The sand’s weight rendered each vessel a pendulum. She systematically untaped each bottle, and using her arm as a fulcrum, she assessed the trajectory and released each bottle into a gentle elliptical orbit, causing sand to pour precisely onto the hardwood floor in delicate, ever-narrowing concentric ovoid rings.


The slight thrust of Kallop’s arm and the inflection of her weight on the propulsion of the hanging bottle register as tiny erratica on the otherwise consistent pattern. She filled each vessel with the exact amount of sand needed to complete each individual “drawing” so that an empty area remained at the center of each ellipsis. The sand traceries left by each of the twenty-eight pendula overlapped at their outer edges, creating an overall pattern that was both constant and unexpected.


When the completed The Melody of Structures graced most of the gallery’s floor, the finished work makes Kallop’s ongoing interest in metaphysics evident. Responding to both ancient traditions and contemporary genres that seek meaning through contemplation, The Melody of Structures is imbued with a meditative quality. The installation reflects Kallop’s study of aboriginal and Tibetan sand painting. The reiterated elliptical spiral forms suggest the vibrations of sound or the mathematical structures revealed by quantum science.


Kallop has been influenced by the work of Vija Celmens, Agnes Martin, and Sheila Hicks, artists who sought universal meaning in ephemeral details, repeated designs and minute substructures of the tangible world. As an MFA student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Kallop discovered the historic fabric industry of Providence. This seminal phase of her career is reflected in the overall design of the Tremaine piece, suggesting textile and rug patterns. One can also ascertain celestial references in The Melody of Structures alluding to the perpetual canvas of space that parallels subatomic strata.


It is an exciting moment in this young artist’s career. Her work is both thoughtful and assertive. It seems clear that we will see more of Field Kallop, an artist with a firm grasp of the big picture.

The Melody of Structures will be on view through December 13, 2015. The Tremaine Gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Learn more about The Tremaine Gallery at The Hotchkiss School:
or on their Facebook page:

The Tremaine Gallery
The Hotchkiss School
11 Interlaken Road

Guest art critic Daphne Anderson Deeds is a fine art and museum consultant in Litchfield County. A seasoned art museum curator and administrator who has held senior positions at university and civic museums throughout the U.S., including the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago, her eponymous consultancy serves private collectors, artist estates, museums and contemporary artists. Current projects include writing and producing a book on the late Robert Hamilton, commissioning a painting by Martha Armstrong, assessing estate collections in Maine, New York City and California, organizing exhibitions, facilitating sales and donations for private collectors. Much more information including testimonials, exhibitions curated, and publications is available at:

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