Branching Out: Trees Interpreted opens February 7 and run through April 4, 2015. The exciting works in this exhibit looks at trees in many different mediums and through very different eyes.
This exhibit features regional artists in an array of mediums including tapestries of Janet Austin, E. Greenwich, RI; prints of Cori Caputo, Nottingham, NH; pen & ink by Victoria Elbroch, Kittery, ME; etchings of Susann Foster Brown, Milton, NH; serigraphs of Catherine Green, Stratham, NH; woodcuts of Judith Heller-Cassell, Rochester, NH; mixed media of Suzanne Pretty, Farmington, NH; and mixed media of Wen Redmond, Strafford, NH.
Austin states "My tapestries grow out of my drawings and paintings, which take many years to ripen into material for my tapestry designs. I make color copies, cut out pieces that interest me, enlarge them, and manipulate them, until finally I have a design that wants to be a tapestry.
My goal is to preserve the spontaneity of the quick sketch, as it is translated into a medium that is necessarily slow and methodical. Ironically, the effort to appear spontaneous makes the tapestry weaving slower and more difficult.My recent Tree Series is inspired by photographs taken while out walking. The bare winter trees create patterns and rhythms, with the negative spaces suggesting portals to mysterious worlds beyond.
Elbroch writes “I think of the tree as a symbol of resilience and stability in an all too unpredictable world. My new work is concentrated on the graphic silhouette and the pattern and texture of the bark. I place the trees in an ethereal landscape, not explaining everything, encouraging the viewer's own interpretation."
Born in Cheshire, England, Victoria traveled extensively as a child. She lived in India and Pakistan, but received her education in English boarding schools. She held her first one-woman show in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, in 1972. Victoria and her husband have exhibited internationally.
Pretty writes "I have watched the light change on this space in the different lights and in different seasons from my window. This is late afternoon the snow is melting and the cloud images are trapped in the snow melt puddles. Then light is silvery. Even at the edges of pavements the trees reinsert themselves and grow.
My summer images of this space are very different.
I have done a woven study of a section of this piece called From My Window that will be included in the American Tapestry Alliance Exhibit, Small Tapestry International 4: Honoring Tradition Inspiring Innovation traveling to 3 venues.
Green's screen prints have showcased traditional still life subjects such as flowers and fruit as well as nests, birds, seashells and leaves. Her landscapes illustrate a distinct affinity for trees, which appear recurrently: “I am always looking at trees,” she says. “In their particular settings, their relationships with other things and the movement of their branches. Each one has something to say.”
Birch trees, specifically, have a special significance for her and turn up with great frequency.
She works by herself to produce each silk screened print. This includes creating as many as 45 stencils per piece based on the complexity of the image. Each stencil has to be adhered to a fine mesh screen that is tightly stretched on a frame. A squeegee forces ink through the open areas of the screen and onto the paper. Printing different colors requires the use of separate stencils and careful alignment of the paper for precision. Some of her ideas take up to six months to complete.
Brushneck Cove (upper right) Janet Austin, woven tapestry
Affinity (middle right), Victoria Elbroch, pen and ink with wash
Captured (lower right), Suzanne Pretty, multi media
Riding on the Wings of Dreams (bottom right) Catherine Green, Limited edition serigraph
Previous Exhibits Information on previous exhibits and gallery artist