Long time ISE faculty member Beverly Naidus reports that she has two art installations showing through October at Plymouth State College in New Hampshire. One interactive installation is about extinction, “Curtain Call: Portable Altars for Grief and Gratitude” and the other is about the perils and rewards of activism, “AND NOW Behind Curtain #2.”
Beverly’s artist’s statement for the first of the two states in part:
I knew that I wanted to make a series of altars about extinction that would roll up and be easy to carry from place to place… At some point I realized that I did not want to fill my studio or any public space with dystopic images. For years I have understood that voicing my despair may be therapeutic for me, but it rarely activates others in powerful ways. So I encouraged myself to make beauty that speaks about this precious moment, a beauty that expresses my gratitude for the sweet, imperfect contradictions in this life. In other words, when I began to open to the suffering, the grief of losing so much, somehow I found that beauty emerged.
I started listening to Joanna Macy (one of my early teachers) while I worked. In her talks and her writings she discusses the “Great Turning” and what might be necessary to shift our world into one that is concerned about future generations. She talks about the legacy we are leaving the future beings and she does it in a way that resonates deeply. I began to meditate on those generations to come, the ones that will be contending with a radioactive planet with fewer species and less access to clean water, clean air, healthy food, shelter and any sort of well being. As I was stitching, I allowed images to dance, like hidden energy behind each curtain; images of people connecting through their pain to morph into vast networks of people educating each other, finding new tools for creating a just & healed planet, bubbling and juicy with diversity, fertility and possibility. I imagined people all over the planet turning their shared grief and gratitude into a resonant and luscious chorus that cannot be silenced until the shift occurs.
More information is at http://www.plymouth.edu/gallery/2712/and-now-behind-curtain-2, and there are photos of the two installations on the Karl Drerup Art Gallery page on Facebook.