Jo Yarrington’s drawings, photographs, and architecturally-based installations have been shown at many institutions, including the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, The Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn; The Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA; DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA; Artists Space, NY; Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ; and ODETTA Gallery, Brooklyn. Her international exhibitions include Glasgow School of Art, Scotland; Centro de las Artes de Guanajuato, Mexico and Christuskirche, Germany. She represented the US at the Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates. She is the recipient of numerous grants, including Pollock Krasner Foundation, The Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Macdowell Colony.
Yarrington’s ongoing investigation of the utilization of uranium, its by-products and how its continued use effects the environment and the surrounding populations is the inspiration for her project for Emanation 2019.
During her ongoing research of uranium, she became interested both in diagrammatic models of electrons in orbit around a uranium nucleus and also Harold Edgerton’s 1950s photographs of nuclear explosions in which he used the Rapatronic camera.
After reviewing atomic games during the mid-twentieth century, such as Uranium Rush, she viewed the model of the uranium atom more like a board game using marbles made out of uranium glass to replace the 92 electrons. The game would take place on a “floor” of black and white sand, its pattern mimicking the radiation warning symbol.
Selecting sand as the base material would allow a tracking of the moves of the game. After reviewing a number of “central” components for this board game, I decided to sculpturally recreate in uranium glass one of Edgerton’s iconic photographs, an atomic bomb balanced on its fragile base, in the first stages of detonation. The aim of the game would be to knock over this structure and in essence continue the detonation.
~Julie Courtney, Curator