Knoxville, TN | Sculpture, Mixed Media, Installation
Devin Balara (b. 1988) hails from the aggressively pastel suburbs of Tampa, FL. She received a BFA in sculpture from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL and an MFA in sculpture from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She is a recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award, the Mary Ann Unger Fellowship from the Wassaic Artist Residency, a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center residency program, a residency at 8550 Ohio, and a curatorial assistantship with the Building department at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC. National solo and group exhibitions include Ortega y Gasset Projects in Brooklyn, NY, Torrance Shipman Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, The University of Georgia in Athens, GA, Grounds for Sculpture in Trenton, NJ, MOCA Jacksonville, FL, Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, Project Space One in Iowa City and the Indianapolis Art Center in Indiana. She is currently based in Knoxville, TN and works as the metal shop technician at the University of Tennessee where she maintains an active and nomadic studio practice.
My current work mines the ways that nature is commoditized, mediated, domesticated and composed in the suburban spaces of the South. My sculptural objects and interventions seek to problematize the word Nature as it is seen as a novelty, or something outside or other. Maps, trails, and gazebos act as the destination within the destination, contributing to loaded expectations of some kind of ecological deliverance. The work lampoons the fallibility of landscape design proposals, the aesthetic language of inedible shrubs and imported boulders, and the prioritization of surrogates and low-maintenance outdoor solutions.