“Water, water, everywhere, not a drop to drink,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote in “Ancient Sailor’s Rime” in 1798, about thirsty seamen in the unknown. The plight of equatorial waters when they are calm – when they float in it, their cravings are not met with undrinkable abundance.
In the new exhibition “Drip,” at Barre’s Studio Place Arts until April 30, viewers are also surrounded by water — and drawn to contemplate the present and future of this life-sustaining resource.
Immersive silk blueprint waterfalls, glass bubbles floating on the ceiling, raft installations reflecting survival, abstract paintings evoking the plastic waste in the depths of pollution, print series reminding viewers that our human body is approximately 60% water, these installations and Two-dimensional artwork that explores water quality issues. “Drip” features work by 18 artists.
This thought-provoking diversity show is especially timely as 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act in the United States.
“Drip” accompanies solo exhibitions in the upstairs gallery, “Fire and Rust” by Deborah Barnwell of Plainfield and Charles Lessogles of Shelburne Charles Lysogorski’s urban painting Of Fire and Rust is on display. “Artistic Fur Animals,” graphite paintings and prints by Barrie’s Jamieson C. Gallas fill the Quick-Change Gallery (through April 6).
“Drip Water” presents viewers with various beauties and issues related to water quality.
“The show is designed to slow people down and experience different aspects of water quality issues through the eyes and work of some very skilled artists,” said Sue Higby, executive director of Studio Place Arts.
“We are in beautiful Vermont and we still need help with many of our water quality issues.”
Kate Ruddle’s powerful installation, “Adrift,” fills the front of the spa’s main floor gallery with rafts, ropes, and stones. For “Wandering,” Ruddle reviews Théodore Géricault’s seminal 1819 painting “The Raft of the Medusa” and the events that inspired it.
When the Medusa sank in 1816, there was a shortage of lifeboats, and about 150 survivors were crammed into a makeshift raft. In less than two weeks, starvation, murder and cannibalism reduced their numbers to 13. Political interests and lack of leadership in appointing unqualified captains are the reasons for the tragedy.
“I’m particularly interested in those moments of thoughtfulness… which seem to be an ominous metaphor for an ominous political climate in response to an escalating environmental crisis, in which there is a clear lack of leadership, disinterest and A misunderstanding of the common good,” Ruddle said.
Renee Greenlee invites viewers to immerse themselves in our watershed in “Safe Passage” through long silk blues curtains that hang from the spa ceiling. Silk, reminiscent of flowing water, is also made with water from the Lake Champlain Basin.
Cyanotype, one of the oldest photographic processes, is created by treating a surface with iron salts, exposing it to UV light, and washing it in water, resulting in a deep blue image.
“I created a blueprint of our local watershed to bring the blue world into the light,” Greenlee said in her artist statement.
Kathryn Peterson’s “Travel and Global Warming” installation takes a beach as its backdrop – flip-flops, sunglasses and a video – examining the impact of tourism on the environment. Peterson’s video looks closely at climate change issues in Puerto Rico and there.
Drinking water is the focus of works including Julia Pavone’s “When Is It Too Late?” A faucet flowing with twisted metal and Larry Pauling’s “Drinking Cool Love,” a glowing burst punctuated with nuggets of chemical elements—mercury, lead and nitrogen.
Barnwell’s abstract, “Of Fire and Rust,” is in the SPA’s second-floor gallery.
“I always find inspiration in organics: stones, bones, waterlines, patterns and textures from everyday life. These elements become the springboard for my work,” Barnwell said in her artist statement.
Now, after a disastrous house fire, Barnwell notes, “working with fire has allowed me to gain some control over the unpredictable elements and bring beauty out of chaos.”
The dark brown lines in her work are the lines of fire, from which she develops her work, adding elements, color, beeswax and resin.
The third-floor gallery takes visitors to New York’s streets and subways, as well as the vibrant city life. Lysogorski’s “City Scenes” are mainly charcoal and graphite paintings of the late 1970s and early 1980s, breathing the people and energy of the city.
People sit on the side of the road under street lamps. Crowds packed into subway cars. A man with his head bowed collapsed on the bar table. In a few lines, Lysogorski captured gestures and gestures that speak volumes. In his paintings, you can almost hear the noise of the city and feel the grit of the city air. Spend time with the images as their narrative unfolds.
In the SPA’s small Quick Change Gallery, Gallas’s sensitive graphite canvases of dogs, cats and other creatures fill the walls. Pet owners recognize expressions that convey emotions and expectations. Gallas includes several works on large fauna, including a face-to-face moment between a bull and a matador. Gallas’ “Art Fur Animals” exhibit is a creative fundraiser for the Central Vermont Humane Society.