Thais Mather has invested two years of thought and work into her solo show “Reckless Abandon,” which opens at form & concept on November 24.
“Reckless Abandon” is an exploration of ideas, ranging from Mather’s contemplation of humanity and how culture began to a call to action that asks the viewer to question habitual ways of looking at oneself and the world.
“I am an intellectual artist who has spent a great deal of time deeply studying many ideas,” explains Mather, whose research interests include feminism. “The works in the show bring up lots of open-ended questions.”
Works on exhibit include large, intricate woodblock prints depicting creatures that have been traditionally vilified by humans such as snakes and tarantulas, large-scale installations that incorporate ceramics, videos, drawings and other media. One of Mather’s works has 1,000 pieces in it.
Mather describes the process of making art as her product. “The show was birthed as an exploration of material and self, with the self as material and the material as self,” she adds. “I pushed the limits of what I knew but tried not to manipulate any material beyond what it was teaching me. So I worked with clay and let the clay converse with me. I worked in watercolor and we talked and didn’t fight. I just spent time and got lost and found in the process.”
A native Santa Fean, Mather earned her degree in printmaking from the University of Montana in 2006. She studied installation, social practice and critical theory as a master’s degree candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. In 2013, she returned to Santa Fe and created two bodies of work exploring feminist ideas that have been shown in solo exhibitions in Houston, Texas.
“Reckless Abandon” is Mather’s first major show in Santa Fe. “My hope is that it is a human story than reaches many people,” she says. “For me as an artist, I feel deeply that artwork must be useful as a means of change and social consciousness.”