Surrounded by ferns—descendants of ancient plant species—Jyl Bonaguro’s and Shencheng Xu’s recycled-scrap-metal and steel piece carries a modern metaphor. An enormous housefly symbolizes humanity; the leaves, pristine nature; scraps of metal, humanity’s impact on the earth with regard to energy and resources. The fly’s eyes were made from two large washers, and the work was hand-painted with brushes. The vertical leaves are based on the snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), an evergreen perennial.
“This depiction of anticipated flight reflects the worldwide ecosystem of interactions between organisms and their environments—a constant ebb and flow, for better or worse, of energy and resources.”
Jyl Bonaguro is a multimedia artist who has shown her paintings and sculptures in many group exhibitions. She has led artist teams exhibiting public snow sculptures at Chicago’s Navy Pier, and is currently hand-carving alabaster and Italian Carrara marble in her studio at Stairway Studios, a Chicago-based artist collective.
Shencheng Xu studied art in Shenyang, China, and Maryland. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions and competed more than a dozen outdoor, monumental sculptures in the United States and China. He is an associate professor of sculpture at Northeastern Illinois University.