Sylvia Ohara is an assemblage artist. Ohara has always found interest and beauty in the overlooked objects of life. She repurposes found, recycled, and nature-made objects into art and jewelry. Her gather and curate approach began as a child in rural Utah, where she was free to explore and create with collected items. As an adult, her work is influenced by nature, industrial landscapes, and the details of everyday objects. Sylvia loves transforming reclaimed materials into something new and allowing for a different perspective of a familiar object. She explores themes involving strength transformation, contradiction, and erosion. She works with various materials ranging from textiles, paper, stone, glass, and steel.
Artist Statement: "Periscope examines how environmental exposure shapes identity and ability. Water is used to communicate this idea. The elements in all art pieces have been impacted by water. From rusty iron to rocks shaped by erosion, water is force behind discord or transformation. Water does this in a slow and invisible way, which mirrors how disability plays out in society. Water is mostly seen as a pure and life-giving element. Yet, as our environment changes, water has the ability to make a person flourish or corrode.
The title, Periscope is a play on words. A periscope is an instrument used to see objects that are otherwise out of sight. In a society that does not value disability and difference, these identities are mostly out of sight... on purpose. Ohara attempts to reframe difference and disability by transforming discarded objects to make assemblage art pieces. She hopes you will challenge your ideas about beauty, strength and difference by reframing the concept of transformation."
Visual Description of "Perspective"
A sculpture of a looking glass depicted by found objects. The periscope is completely eroded the middle from erosion and exposure to the environmental elements. The form allows for the idea that perspective is formidable from the more than one angle.
Audio Description of "Perspective"
Visual Description of "Upstream"
An assemblage sculpture depicting a climbing wave of wire. The wire symbolizes upstream water and its impact on the ecology that is downstream. The wire ends in a circular motion to symbolize the importance of water to all living things.
Audio Description of "Upstream"
Visual Description of "Stuck"
A triangle rock base with question mark shaped wire is holding an orange bead that is unable to reach the top. The bead can move downward, but not upward, symbolizing the struggle of upward mobility within the disabled community.
Audio Description of "Stuck"
Visual Description of "In Memory"
Three abstract shaped rocks are attached to a nail and wood base. All objects are reclaimed. The nails are rusty and worn from exposure. The rocks are all different in shape, but mimic the abstract beauty of trees and nature. The title is a play on words. Earlier in the artist’s life, nature was a source of refuge and safety.
Audio Description of "In Memory"
Visual Description of "Pieces of Me"
An abstract representation of beauty and discord found in nature. One oval shaped rock, a round rock and a curved metal piece are arranged together in an a-symmetrical pattern to communicate the balance and irony of finding peace in nature.