The Durham Art Gallery is excited to host The Grey Highlands Artists Collective (GHAC) for their eighth collaborative show, entitled, “Abundance & Scarcity”, running until January 6. Artists Melanie Earle, Carol Binns Wood, and Shauna Earle have invited Steven White, Jennifer Clark and Cindy Norton to create new work based on this show theme.
“Today we are surrounded by excess on one hand and scarcity on the other,” begins the GHAC artist statement. “The natural world finds balance between scarcity and abundance…but this balance is disrupted by the footprint of the human race as we become the most dominant species on the planet.”
This show will explore what abundance and scarcity means to each artist; as a personal metaphor, as an examination of excess and shortage on a global scale, or by choosing materials that they find relate to the theme of excess and scarcity, such as repurposed or found objects.
Shauna Earle explores the theme of climate change in new encaustic works, specifically, the effects of that change on the Arctic and the delicate balance of its’ ecosystem. Likewise, Melanie Earle explores symbols of the north, the “polarity” of created landscapes and the ‘wild’ untamed world, visualizing “the sad reality of the melting icepack and the polar bear.”
Cindy Norton’s mixed media kinetic structures provide a visual commentary on environmental degradation and endangered species while giving new life to discarded items and found “treasures”. Jennifer Clark’s depictions of the elemental world seek to explore the forces of growth and contradiction. “What began as seed forms became, in the end, the expression of climate change through the elements of fire and water during this season of massive forest fires and hurricanes.”
Personal perception drives Steven White’s abstract form he created for this exhibit, while the random, interactive nature of the piece acts “as a metaphor for the waves of abundance or scarcity that we all experience”. The suggestive spiral staircase spins in random directions, giving the viewer the sensation of it moving upwards or downwards. As White offers, “…it is our perception that makes the staircase appear to be ascending or descending, just as it is our perception that often determines how we interpret the details of our lives.”
Carol Binns Wood also took a personal look at scarcity and abundance through her birth, and what she calls “this bountiful place to a middle-class family”. Visually commenting on the wealth of the planet and the inequity of its shared resources, Binns Wood uses personal, precious objects to remind herself of her “damn good fortune” in being born where she was while inviting all those in the same situation, “to be profoundly grateful”.
An opening reception was held for ‘Abundance & Scarcity’ by The Grey Highlands Artists Collective on November 17 and the show runs November 16 to January 6. The Durham Art Gallery is located at 251 George St. E. in Durham.
Source: Durham Art Gallery media release
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