Guttenberg Arts Gallery is pleased to present “MADE HERE Winter 2015” a group exhibition of the current Artists in Residence; Kirsten Flaherty, Susan Graham and Johanna Winters. On view April 2, 2015 through May 3 2015.
The works included in MADE HERE Winter 2015 were created during the artists’ residences and address issues and concepts that revolve around humanity, built urban environments and their relationships with nature.
Kirsten Flaherty’s newest etchings use the intimacy and tactility of detailed mezzotints and hand stitching to evoke a deeper sense of empathy for her subjects. These subjects or innocents, such as pit bulls and seals, are deeply affected by our systematic urbanization and our negative impact on our natural environment, as well as how our relationships to the animals themselves. The prints also depict serene landscapes that are abruptly disrupted by a trapped seal bound by wire, which is heightened by Flaherty’s use of thick thread and the piercing of the paper causing the viewer to realize the fragility of life and the fallacies in human nature that come with even more devastating repercussions.
Similar themes of human encroachment on nature are also found in Susan Graham’s newest works. These technically complicated, freestanding porcelain sculptures entitled “Flower Towers” are linear in nature and replicate electrical towers seen to be placed in every landscape heedless of the needs of the environment at hand. Graham’s use of decoration and simple black and white color palettes poetically depict the eternal struggle between nature and technology. Graham’s pieces also reference the sense of humor and clumsiness of cell phone towers disguised as pine trees and their rapidly changing landscapes.
In Johanna Winters’ recent exhibition,Culling the Herd, the works were installed in such a way that evoked the comfortable space of a backyard clothing line where the prints are hung with clips and seemingly cheerful in color, drawing in the viewer. But the illusion is only temporary, upon closer look these intimately scaled prints show characters that are confined or restrained within ambiguous and absurd environments on stages that produce an uncanny sense of empathy from their viewers. For MADE HERE, Winters continues to create a cast of impish characters that both mock and celebrate the gluttony and banality of Middle America and linger in the emotional emptiness that seems to manifest itself in their physical situations.