Opening on May 7th at the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center in Williamsburg, New York is an exhibit organized by ecoartspace of art focused on the environment by over 50 artists. This exhibit highlights nature in and surrounding the urban environment of New York City. The curator Sue Spaid created what will be a sensorial experience of works that amplify habitats’ various voices from birds to bladderwrack, clouds, cochineals, compost, coral reefs, cows, deer, flowers, fungi, human beings, jellyfish, knotweed, lichens, mangroves, metals, minerals, mugworts, mushrooms, plastic, rainbows, rivers, roots, rust, seeds, shells, soil, the sun, rivers, trees, watersheds, and worms.
One of my works, “Blossoming Oak Tree”, will be included in the exhibition.
The opening will be on Saturday, May 7, 3-5pm. The exhibition closes on Saturday, June 4, with a closing reception from 4-6pm. There will be events and talks taking place during the month of the exhibit.
I work with animals, insects and plants and collage them with photographs I have done of our bodies to show our unity, in this time of climate crisis, with the natural world. I always enjoy watching dragonflies flying over ponds of water. I marvel at their wing span as they navigate near the water’s surface. I love how their wings reflect light as they flit and hover over water.
Dragonflies are known and sometimes revered all over the world. There are as many as 5000 species of dragonfly. Learning how many cultures have myths and beliefs associated with dragonflies has increased my own admiration and love for them.
One of the names of Japan is Akitsushima which means island of dragonflies. For Aboriginals in Australia dragonflies symbolize dancing and a reminder for humans to look within. In Welsh mythology, the word for dragonfly means snake’s servant, as they are often seen in the same environs as snakes. In the South West of the U.S., native Americans see dragonflies as the helper to bring rain and water in the dry areas. Celtic mythology has 23 names for the dragonfly.
In all these beliefs and myths, dragonflies are associated with change and transformation, particularly to bring more light and joy into our lives.
I have done this installation of dragonfly wings with close up of Iris flowers in palladium prints on Japanese gampi papers.
I have been chosen to be an exhibiting artist on the digital platform “Artfare”, artfare.com/alice-garik
I now have the Iris series which I describe in a previous post and Oak Blossoms on the Artfare site. In the coming weeks I will add more works to be featured on this site.
The artists on Artfare are selected for their professionalism and artistry. Please visit the site when you have a moment.
Yvena Despagne, a curator with Arts Gowanus, has chosen three of my works for “Oc.cu.pied”, an exhibition of art by women. The three works are “Blossoming Oak”, “Can We Breathe?” or “Chimera” and “Into the Earth”. I have used the title “Chimera” as an alternate title for this work as in Greek mythology chimeras were human hybrids with appendages from the natural world. Here this woman is growing blossoming Oak branches as she gives birth to her baby. Dates are October 16 and 17, the same timing as the Arts Gowanus Open Studios. Atelier Canal, 287 Third Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215 is the location.
Framing my work finishes the work for me. The photograph here is the work “Can We Breathe” in its frame, ready to exhibit. I have given this work this name because we live in an interdependent state with trees. Through photosynthesis, trees transform carbon dioxide into oxygen which we breathe. This work is collaged from printing negatives of a woman, a baby and the blossoming oaks with palladium on Japanese gampi paper. I painted with Kremer pearlescent water color to add the dimension of green for leaves and red for our blood.
On October 16th and 17th I am thrilled to display my new Iris series at Gowanus Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY from 12 – 6pm each afternoon. The address is Shapeshifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215.
My Iris Triptych series explores new ways to capture these flowers. Every year when the Iris blooms in Spring, I attempt to evoke their beauty and their spiritual essence. In Japan, Iris is revered for its purifying properties. In many cultures the Iris stands for wisdom, trust, hope and valor. What better flower to bloom as Spring begins?
This year I attempted to display this flower’s energy. Through the calligraphic movement I employed to paint the palladium on the Japanese gampi paper to the exposure using sunlight, my thought was to convey the elegance and dynamism of these flowers.
Strands of seaweed, horseshoe crabs, shells, broken glass–ocean and human debris–the viscosity of salt water teeming with life–ebb and flow. When animals left the ocean for land, they took the sea with them. Our veins carry the same mixture of sodium, potassium and calcium as sea water. The ocean is our origin.
My hands forage for what the sea gives. I create prints to express its marvels.
A few of my palladium prints that I created from camera-less negatives of these sea fragments are part of an online exhibition https://fayddigital.com/Nature-in-lockdown published by this online magazine which works at the intersection of art, design and the environment.
I am honored to exhibit two series of works, ‘Blossoms of an Oak Tree’ and ‘Ocean Totems’ in the online exhibition https://fayddigital.com/Nature-in-lockdown at fayddigital.com Magazine, working at the intersection of art, design and the environment. This exhibition has been curated by Yingbi Lee and Maryam Arshad.
During lockdown, I took daily walks in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. As a result, I developed a sensitivity to walking on earth and climbing over tree roots. This urban park is my refuge and I walked in rain as well as sunny days. After a windy rain storm, I noticed for the first time how trees blossom in the spring because I found blossoms of a large oak tree on the ground. The delicacy of these newly sprouted blossoms and yellow green leaves amazed me.
I applied my camera-less photography techniques to these blossoms to make 16X20 inch negatives. Brushing the palladium solution onto the transparent gampi paper and exposing the negatives with the sun helped me to express the vibrancy of the oak blossoms.
I made the collage, ‘Breath’, to equate the first breath of a baby with blossoming oak leaves. I printed multiple negatives in layers and painted with pearlescent watercolors. By having the baby and the Oak blossoms in the same work I seek to show our interdependence with trees. We need oxygen. Trees transform carbon dioxide through photosynthesis to produce oxygen.
As well as working with archival materials to produce my art works, I arrange for the framing to be archival. Each work is elegantly framed in white wood. The prints are hinged against the top backing board, so the work hangs like a textile.
This ensures that the delicacy of the translucent gampi paper will be protected and my clients receive works ready to hang.
Please click on the sentence below to view this PDF:
Through processes of transformation I present these palladium prints of objects from the ocean.
I have placed a few works from my current ocean portfolio in the above linked PDF. These works have grown from my sense of sanctuary in long walks at the ocean’s edge during this time of Covid lockdown.
Feeling wave upon wave wash over the sand moved me into the cyclic and expansive motion of the ocean. To express the ocean’s vastness and materiality, I pick up remnants of sea life washed onto the sand.
Placing these fragments of sea life directly into my enlarger, I make camera-free large 16 X 20 inch negatives to contact print using brushed palladium metal on translucent Japanese gampi paper and expose the negatives and paper using the direct rays of the sun.
When I place these fragments in my enlarger, the depth of field is similar to a lens that is wide open on a large format camera. Some details are sharply focused while others are softly embraced.
Using palladium allows for tonal distinctions of extreme subtlety. Sometimes when I paint the palladium on the paper, I paint only the shape of the object and leave the rest of the paper open. This I have done with the corals. Centering the corals allows for the concentration of their forms.
I am proud to have work in a group exhibition of artists hosted online by the Berlin Collectiv. Katia Hermann is the curator. My work is titled “Iris Sparks” and Katia wrote that my work is ‘scientific’ in that the cells and fibers of the Iris flower appear x-ray like. This is something I aim for in depicting the camera-free flora I chose.