Tracey Morgan Gallery is pleased to present Bird by Bird, an exhibition of recent wood sculptures by New Hampshire based artist Sachiko Akiyama. This is our first solo exhibition with the artist.
Drawing inspiration from the natural world, Akiyama’s sculptures combine human and animal forms to explore deep psychological states and inner spaces, tackling interpersonal relationships and our place within our surrounding environment. With references to art history, literature, and her own Japanese American heritage, Akiyama explores spirituality, mythology, and dreams in a careful balance between the personal and the universal.
Akiyama’s sculptures exert a quiet, physical and psychological presence. She is interested in how tactile, physically assertive forms can describe the psyche – not a specific emotion or thought, but rather a state of concentration and introspection. The works are contemplative yet bold, maintaining a delicate tone while exuding strength and groundedness. Her figures often maintain neutral expressions, allowing viewers space for their own interpretations.
One large piece included in the exhibition, Waking Dream, shows a human form enveloped in songbirds, some more fully rendered than others. It was inspired by Michelangelo’s series of slaves whose forms are still partially encased in blocks of stone. In Waking Dream Akiyama highlights the contrast between the individual birds taking flight and the weight of the group as a whole.
Akiyama, who received her MFA from Boston University, was the recipient of a 2021 Millay Arts Fellowship as well as a 2022 Surf Point Foundation Fellowship. Recent exhibitions include the Brattleboro Museum, VT; Maine Center for Contemporary Arts, Rockland; and Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Greenville, SC.