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Western Gallery, Western Washington University
Bellingham WA – Oct 7-Dec 6, 2002

H2O - Nadav Kander, Diver

Nadav Kander, Diver (1997), photograph [Western Gallery, Bellingham, WA, Oct 7-Dec 6] courtesy Yancey Richardson Gallery, NYC

The Western Gallery is currently featuring a unique exhibit focused on the theme of water. Curated by Jo Anna Isaak, H2O explores the human relationship to water in a number of ways. Water is simple, basic, and familiar to all living things, yet its complexity reaches our consciousness metaphorically and symbolically through our dreams and imaginings. Approached from a range of perspectives and artistic disciplines, the participating artists have much to offer on this subject.

In KiKi Smith’s glass sculptures Brown Water the formless, changeable nature of this element becomes frozen into tear drop forms that somehow have their own sense of sorrow, as clean water is never brown.

Nancy Spero’s gouache painting River of Victims portrays water’s fierce ability to wreak havoc, and contrasts to Jenny Gage’s photograph Underwater showing waters soothing quality. Some artists respond to water’s environmental risks, as in Christy Rupp’s metal sculpture of a mussel shell form filled with discarded plastic water bottles and also in Mark Jones’ photograph of a bleeding river showing the effects of industrialization and pollution.

In Amy Jenkins video installation Ebb the artist projects images of a woman bathing onto a miniature ceramic bathtub. Samm Kunce's hydroponic art piece Individual Lettuce Cultures becomes growing sculpture during the course of the exhibit. H2O also includes a sound piece by composer Annea Lockwood who recorded the sound of the Hudson River beginning at the river’s source.

© Allyn Cantor

 Sun, Nov 3, 2002