“Fathom”: exploring another world at Waverly Street Gallery

When glass artist Alison Sigethy and sculptor Liz Lescault met through their mutual interest in kayaking, they discovered another odd and wonderful coincidence: both of them had an affinity for making forms that looked like otherworldly life.

Lescault quickly invited Sigethy to participate in an upcoming show at Waverly Street Gallery in Maryland, but despite the artists’ shared enthusiasm, they faced a problem that called for an imaginative solution.

“Because we both have very busy schedules, we couldn’t actually work on pieces together, so we started a process that worked really well for us,” Sigethy explains. “One of us would make something, then hand it off to the other to complete.”

That’s the premise of “Fathom,” in which several of the pieces combine the work of both artists to create a beautiful and eerie new body of work that merges the organic and the abstract. A soundscape by John Vengrouskie acoustically frames the installation, immersing visitors in a “contemplative refuge” where they marvel at the most beguiling life forms that never existed.

Look closely at these incredible creations and you may discern hints of a creative process that isn’t easily put into words: two artists learning from each other while seeing their own work anew.

“We had so much fun working together that I’m sure we’ll do it again,” Sigethy says, “with one addition. The collaborative work is so seamless, people viewing the show can’t tell who did what. Artistically, that’s what we want—but adding a small photo of the original piece next to the completed work might make the finished piece even more compelling. We’ll probably do that next time.”

Explore “Fathom” at the Waverly Street Gallery in Bethesda, Maryland, Tuesdays to Saturdays, 12 to 6 p.m., through June 8, 2013. See the work of Alison Sigethy at the Torpedo Factory in studio 307 and online at alisonsigethy.com; see the work of Liz Lescault at the Scope Gallery in studio 19 and online at lizlescault.com.

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