The rough, pugnacious edges of Laurie Hassold’s biomorphic sculptures beg to be touched, caressed, held in one’s hands … until they decide to take a bite of you or scuttle out of reach. Horror vacui fills each piece. Rich with small toys, tatting lace, insect nests, or scavenged animal bones, the work deliciously haunts the space between intention and the subconscious, between the infinite and extinction. Open to whatever happy accident comes its way, her work is also painstakingly considered, developed over weeks and months.
“I clock tons of time and mileage before something sings back at me,” says Hassold, who teaches at Orange Coast and Irvine Valley colleges. Until each piece leaves her studio, there’s the possibility that it could be dismembered to create something new, something better. In yoga, Bee’s Breath is a breathing exercise intended to remove stress; here, the name suggests an embrace of the natural world, mixing symbols of fecundity like bunnies and babies with acute symbols of our transience: flies and skulls. Balance between the two is secured with a tiny lotus flower being encroached on (or protected) by the piece’s leafless tendrils.—Dave Barton
See It! Laurie Hassold’s studio is open by appointment only. Email her at email@example.com. See her work at the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts in Alta Loma through Oct. 29, malooffoundation.org.