Land, Mark Exhibition
Rocky Neck Art Colony presents Land, Mark, a new exhibition curated by Ginger Myhaver that draws attention to the beauty, power, and generative possibilities of listening to and collaborating with—rather than working against—nature. The exhibition is on view at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street, Gloucester, MA, Thursday through Sunday, 12 – 5 PM. The exhibition brings together five artists, all with deep ties to Massachusetts’ North Shore, whose process is fundamentally informed by and embedded in the natural world. In each body of work, natural forces exert their own iterative agency – leaving surface marks, color, texture, and form, and registering the interchange that has occurred between artist and natural environs. The work resonates with esthetic depth and acknowledges our interdependence with and absolute inseparability from other lifeforms and geological entities on this planet. While not denying the possibilities of mutual destruction brought on by humans’ rapaciousness, the reference to the climate crisis here is indirect and offers glimpses of hope. Through their practices, these artists demonstrate the necessity and promise of developing a more intimate, caring, and humble relationship with nature.
Featured artists include New York-based painter and printmaker Beatrice Modisett, the printmakers/conceptual artists Stacy Thomas-Vickory and Hugo Pellinen of Beverly and Salem, sculptor/mixed-media artist Caroline Bagenal of Newburyport, and interdisciplinary artist and creative technologist Sarah Trahan, now based in Vejle, Denmark.
In addition to an artists reception, the show will be accompanied by a robust slate of programs that engage the community and bring attention to the climate crisis and potential solutions.
About the Artwork:
Beatrice Modisett’s series of charcoal drawings is created using charcoal embers foraged from fires she builds and tends on frequent trips deep into the woods of Summit, NY, fires that “serve as…centerpiece[s] to a dinner, song or intimate conversation.” The drawings are mounted in frames she builds from strips of wood charred by those same fires. Modisett is “interested in this act of creation stemming from the seemingly destroyed.” For her, “the process, material and images explore the flickering and hopeful space between creation and collapse.”
In the collaborative project by Stacy Thomas-Vickory and Hugo Pellinen, the pair bury steel plates in natural settings for a full lunar cycle to extract “Earth Narratives” that reflect the geologic, chemical, and weather systems unique to each location. According to Thomas-Vickory and Pellinen, “The project is built on the idea that systems of communication can be built between people and the environments in which they live.” The resulting works consist of the plates themselves as transformed by weather, water, wind, and time; monotypes made from printing the naked plates as well as inked plates; and photographs made from those plates and prints.
Artist Sarah Trahan’s “With/in a landscape” consists of vessels created from biodata captured during experiences hiking in the Arctic Circle of northern Finland. The biodata, comprised of electric impulses captured from the artist’s body (brain and muscles), a computer, and the surrounding landscape (ambient current), was captured using a 3D printed EEG helmet kit, and converted into 3-dimensional objects using custom code and an algorithmic 3D modeling program. The resulting 3D models are then made into material objects using the process of 3D printing and hand modeling. Trahan writes, “This project is an attempt to make material the intangible interconnections our bodies have with technology and the living world. The vessels in this collection are sculpted from an intermingling of electrical impulses, where the human body, its extensions (technology) and the landscape are embodied and contained with/in the same vessel.
Sculptor/mixed-media artist Caroline Bagenal’s Salt Marsh Drift comprises sculptures, embroidery and video that celebrate the unique ecosystem of the tidal salt marsh on the North Shore. Several pieces are based on the experience of swimming in tidal rivers in the marsh near Newburyport and make use of recycled garden netting, a discarded hammock, fish nets and other materials. Caroline Bagenal has been working with phragmites and saltmarsh hay as sculptural material for over a decade, and her work points to the vital importance of wetlands for humans, plants, fish, insects, birds and other species.