Drink Me, Blue McRight’s eighth solo exhibition with the gallery, doubles as an invitation and a dare. Her latest body of work, almost exclusively sculptural, straddles definitions both literal and thematic. The tightly wrapped forms from Quench (2013) have returned, sprouting nozzles as before, but radically different in scale. Water remains the focus of McRight’s world, and Drink Me is a deep and dangerous ocean.
Anchoring the installation is Siren (2014), a nine-foot-long tree wrapped in brilliant blue bandages, suspended from the ceiling to hang mere inches from the floor. In Greek mythology Sirens were dangerous, beautiful sea creatures who lured sailors to their death on rocky coasts. Today, mechanical sirens still signal danger, yet we are inexorably drawn to disaster. The Siren of Drink Me is a mysterious figure, warning and seductive. This duality of darkness and attraction is everywhere in McRight’s work.
The choice of color for Siren comes from the Blue-Ringed Octopus, so named for its stunning display of brilliant blue circles when provoked. Small enough to fit in your hand, but deadly enough to kill, this tiny creature reminds us to keep a wary eye lest we be dashed upon the rocks.
McRight wraps her works tightly with bandages, binding them in intricate patterns of thread. It is unclear if this is to protect them or us. Bursting forth and holding back, referring to constriction, sexuality and transformation, using canteens, anchors, hoses, nozzles and trees: McRight’s unique sculptural language drives Drink Me, creating uncanny hybrids that dare you to come closer.