In “Threnody,” a collection of sculptural works by Seattle-based artist and framer Benjamin Malay, we find moody and allusive mixed-media works that would be at home on the dusty shelves of a magical curiosity shop. His juxtapositions of found objects are playful, intriguing, and full of hidden depths.
I assemble discarded materials and found objects to make reverent three-dimensional art. Inspired by wooden sewing machine drawers, fishing tackle, vintage glass, old first-aid kits, auto repair manuals and maps, my work includes a tribute to my grandfather, an appliance repairman and tropical fish enthusiast. Peering through the blue-green slide projector lens to the fishing lure beneath, I picture him tending tanks in his backyard greenhouse Saturday afternoons.
Self-reliant creativity is my family’s legacy. In rural northeastern Washington State, my parents built a cabin with timbers salvaged from an abandoned homestead. We hauled water from a nearby creek, cooked on a wood stove and read by kerosene lantern. My father taught me to reclaim rusty nails, unbraid a rug for winter insulation, and dig a well by hand. “Threnody” is an homage to his short and complex life.