A painting entitled, “The Jungle,” by artist Tlyer Eash painted with oils on a 6’x6’ canvas as part of his “Marysville, Oh Holy Land” exhibition.

A Linda native turned London-based artist has created a new exhibition to highlight the tough issues of poverty and homelessness prevalent in his hometown.

Tyler Eash, known professionally as Loreum, said he graduated from Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts in 2006 and moved to London to study for a master’s degree in fine arts at Goldsmiths, University of London.

While there, he received an English Arts Council grant to create an exhibition in London, but the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns put the exhibition on pause. Eash said during that time, he traveled to Marysville with his French partner, Anthony Baussy, to help his mother with home repairs and was disheartened to see the condition of his hometown.

“My art practice creates discourse on class inequality and poverty, so when I saw the encampments of people in cars in fields near our home and the meth addict squatting across the street, I knew I had to use my visibility to bring awareness to these neglected human rights issues,” said Eash.

Eash said he wanted to bring back the things he had learned abroad to talk about his hometown and the hardships of the Yuba-Sutter area, so he got to work. With Venice-based curator Giulia Menegale, Eash said he used the grant to develop an exhibition titled "Marysville, Oh Holy Land.”

“The work addresses much of the socio-economic issues my family and our community face,” said Eash. “Because it is a problem that has impacted myself and my family, it is also a subject that I care deeply about. I've tried using my international visibility as a contemporary artist to generate some compassion and urgency for the situations of poverty and homelessness that impact our community.”

Eash and his partner developed 25 visual works mostly from discarded objects to serve as the illustration for a poem titled “Marysville, Oh Holy Land.”

“I staged all of these works in the abandoned squat, as if it were some dystopian art gallery,” said Eash.

He also developed a musical score on Nancie Greene’s standing grand piano, which Eash said is as old as Marysville and survived a flood. Footage of the works in Marysville featured in the exhibition were made by Yuba City resident Robert Reimers and were then edited into a film with footage from Venice, San Francisco, and a performance in a theater in Speracedes, France.

Eash said he felt it was important to create this exhibition because there are very few real advocates for the poor.

“Creating discourse and finding ways to foster empathy for impoverished people was a way that I could use my newly earned visibility for good,” said Eash. “While living in the UK and France, I was able to look at America from the outside and one of the biggest realizations I had was how little compassion our country holds for the poor. It is inexcusable and embarrassing to me that the world’s wealthiest country has such a high poverty and homelessness rate. We force the poor to sleep in the street, starve, or we incarcerate them for victimless crimes. It’s odd, but there is this belief in America where we think the poor deserve poverty, that somehow they’ve earned it from having a lack of merit. Yet, I myself have always been the top of my class and have always had this chain of poverty at my ankle. It was clear to me that to free myself from poverty, I had to help others free themselves.”

Eash said his exhibition was created to address two audiences – the first one being the poor, or the audience Eash said he wishes to empower, and the other the wealthy, the audience Eash said he wishes to help.

“Poverty is not simply a poor person problem because it is caused and perpetuated by the wealthy,” said Eash. “It’s the world’s problem. It gives me great purpose speaking for my people who have gone hungry and unheard for generations.”

Eash said the "Marysville, Oh Holy Land'' exhibition will be featured simultaneously in Marysville, online, and in London in April and a film showing is scheduled to take place again in Germany in May.

The exhibition will be on display at the Four Fourteen Gallery, 414 4th St., Marysville, April 2-23. The gallery is open Fridays and Saturdays from 12-3 p.m. or by appointment and admission is free.

It will also be shown at the Kupfer Projects in London from April 9 to 16.

For more information, visit www.loreum.net.

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