In an increasingly transient world where communication is more likely conducted electronically rather than through personal contact, we find ourselves in persistent self-imposed or forced exile from home and community. We live with an underlying sense of dislocation, a fractured existence in which we try to piece together our lives. Concurrent with Lori Nozick’s own voyage through time and geography, her work explores the journeys we all take, which are rarely straightforward, passing through unexpected spaces or frustrating passages that lead nowhere in our quest to return home, while we question what home itself means.

Nozick’s work is both highly tactile and deeply referential, with materials evoking our primal earth, to structures we create, to our history and traditions – both specific and universal, existing outside a fixed moment. A tension and balance between security and impermanence echo in the materials chosen and the forms created, which offer an mixing of both hidden narrative and exposed layers, examining ongoing cycles of cohesion and disintegration. Works can seem solid (though they may have hidden vulnerabilities), permeable, ancient and transient, capturing the inherent dynamics of human structure and social and environmental change, both physically and symbolically.

In these works, as art historian and critic Robert C. Morgan has written, “structure signifies an inventory of shapes and elements that pull together even as they move in different directions,” resonating as markers of visual memory. Anti-architectural structures arise as temporary constructions, utilizing elements that conspicuously lack their intended functionality – doors that are hung horizontally far above the floor, windows that cannot open, stairs and walkways that lead nowhere. These often comprise materials that come from the place, site or local environment, including reclaimed architectural elements such as wood, metal, glass, cement, blocks of salt, pigments, impressions of leaves, animal skeletons, fossils, and solar-powered LED lighting.

Nozick’s current work investigates and addresses walls, which demarcate both real and imposed boundaries. Deeply resonant with the elemental architecture of Nozick’s work, walls can provide protection and shelter, or can engender separation, isolation and imprisonment, offering no ability to escape. This duality is critical – affecting viewers both physically and mentally, making reference simultaneously, for example, to ancient walled cities and modern gated communities, offering comfort with certain structures reminding us of the homes where we grew up while seeming hostile due to the roughness or impermanence of the materials with which they are made.

With a long history of site-specific work, Nozick is interested in the spaces and metaphors created by the sculpture (object) “occupying” a space, through which the dynamic with the viewer becomes paramount. The visitor is invited to enter and explore the space, to achieve a moment of contemplation questioning the reality of this “place” and experience transformation through its scale and unconventional construction. Through this relationship, the archetypal images and forms of the work become a visual and physical language through which the artist explores our relationship to personal and public spaces in culture, communities and nature, both in an immediate sense and throughout history.