February 26 — April 3, 2021
Wablu the Shlablues
Conduit Gallery is honored to announce Wablu the Shlablues, a solo exhibition of new works by Dallas based artist, Jeff Gibbons.
My first sentence (as I'm told) was "Can I water the flowers?" Though I had condensed and slightly altered it into "Momma, wablu the shlablues?" I remember saying that, somehow, and wanting to water the flowers. There was a satisfaction in my gut seeing the water go into the ground, knowing it would make the flowers happy and alive.
I think deep in my heart, in my center, in my soul, that feeling is all I really want. Things like money, planning for a future, and the desire to be known by someone, turns the focus to the outcome instead of the action itself. It's so hard to enjoy watering the flowers when you know they will die anyways, or that no one else will appreciate them, or that watering them won't pay the bills.
Part of getting bigger means being responsible, understanding things from different angles, and analyzing why you water the flowers. So now, that mass I've gathered, making me taller, wider, and (dare I say) wiser, feels like a weight that sits on the neck of that little boy, who just wants to water the flowers.
I don't want to let him down. – Jeff Gibbons, 2021
Jeff Gibbons’ work is often woven through with an element of the auto-biographical, or at least self-referential. Endemic to his creative process is the care for or looking after of his objects of creation as a means of self-care. Sustaining the artist’s sense of self through the sense of something larger than self. In Wablu the Shlablues the work strives to find a simple place, to capture and retain some learning from the innocence of childhood.
Jeff Gibbons earned a BFA from the University of Tampa, Florida (2010) and an MFA from the University of Texas Arlington (2013) where he studied Intermedia. In 2020, Gibbons was artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont. In 2016, Gibbons was the recipient of a grant from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs; created the voicemail driven interactive project, 'There are no stray hairs in old movies', the inaugural show for '1-800-789-2228'; collaborated with Gregory Ruppe on the set for 'Masque of Red Death', a ballet performed at the Majestic Theater (Dallas, TX) by the Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet and composed by Jordan Kuspa; and co-created The Culture Hole, with Greg Ruppe. In 2015, Gibbons was an artist in residence at the Goss Michael Foundation (Dallas, TX) and presented a solo exhibition Auto Relativity Kinetotron. Gibbons, along with frequent collaborator Justin Ginsberg were among the recipients of the 2015 Master Mind Awards by the Dallas Observer.
Read the March 25, 2021 Dallas Morning News review here.