Celia Eberle is in the business of worldbuilding.
She envisions our reality populated by gods and monsters, filled with latent energies of magic and ritual.
Her art mines historic icons, cabinets of curiosity, and the natural world—producing works that appear to possess a past while uniquely speaking to the context in which they were created.
Eberle’s output is driven by ideas that determine the medium in which they are produced.
She finds formal similarity between natural objects and both personal and global symbologies.
She sources the required raw materials from all over the world, often through online retailers and sometimes right around her home in Ennis, south of Dallas.
Her practice is global in nature—mimicking historical trade routes—sourcing such esoteric objects as bone, teeth, diamonds, and marble.
She mimics the Wunderkammer, assembling precious objects from around the globe, then elevating them via alteration
and presentation. She has made combs from turtle shells, towers from bone, and elephants from alabaster. Each piece is a totem— evoking both foreign and familiar mythologies.
Eberle’s Neptune merges the classic omnipresent image of Christ on the cross with that of the regal merman Neptune.
Rendered in driftwood, the sculpture wears a crown of coral reminiscent of a crown of thorns. Simultaneously the sculpture references the Feejee mermaid displayed
by legendary showman P.T. Barnum at his American Museum in the late 19th century.
This famed hoax, widely believe to be real at the time of its presentation, was fashioned by fusing the mummified remains of a monkey and fish.
What is striking about the piece is that it appears to be a historical object.
Eberle’s technique implies the passage of time and use through smooth edges and delicate detail.
Neptune’s glossy and jewel-like surface is similar to that of monuments and ritual objects that have been altered from the caress of countless adoring hands.
This appearance of authenticity and evocation of wonder stems throughout her wideranging oeuvre.
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