Alchemy of the Soul glass fragment
© 2015 Peabody Essex Museum. Photograph by Walter Silver/PEM.
On view January 9, 2016 to April 3, 2016
Located in the: Special Exhibition Galleries
Alchemy of the Soul: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons presents the most ambitious collaboration between the Afro-Cuban artist and her husband, musician and composer Neil Leonard. Through large-scale blown glass sculptures, paintings, photographs, and evocative soundscapes, the artist draws on the structural forms found in the abandoned sugar mills and rum factories of her childhood island home. Incorporating the sweet smell of rum, this multi-sensory exhibition creates an intoxicating reconceptualization of the often-brutal history of the Cuban sugar industry, offering a visceral experience that ignites the senses and our emotional awareness of place, memory, identity and labor.
Alchemy of the Soul: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons is made possible in part by June McCormack and John and Cynthia Reed, and by supporters of PEM's Present Tense Initiative: Terry and Dick Albright, Dick and Deborah Carlson, Susan and Appy Chandler and Fay Chandler. The East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum provided additional support.
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons. Alchemy of the Soul, Elixir for the Spirits [unit 4] (detail), 2015.
Peabody Essex Museum. © 2016 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Peter Vanderwarker.
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons. Alchemy of the Soul, Elixir for the Spirits [unit 1], 2015.
Peabody Essex Museum. © 2016 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Peter Vanderwarker