Edge of A Meadow
Solo Exhibition June 15 – October 28, 2020
346 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
Opening Reception: July 15, 2020
My new series of abstract paintings in “The Edge of A Meadow” exhibition I explore the elusive concept of an ever-shifting boundaries underwater. I’m intrigued by how patterns found in eelgrass meadows can be interpreted as abstract motifs. Since 2015, I have volunteered in eelgrass restorations projects in Massachusetts. I am thankful for so many wonderful collaborations with scientists on projects. Dr. Phil Colaruso inspired the title for this show at an eelgrass meeting in Dec. 2019 to come up with a Haiku for “The Edge of A Meadow” at Boston’s EPA. I decided to use paint instead of words.
I created the “Edge of a Meadow” painting for me mimics the experience walking in shallow water in eelgrass beds. I tried to capture the swirling watery movement of the meadow creating transparent layers of paint and areas of opacity. Sometimes a school of fish swims by, other times spider crabs are sticking their claws out challenging the new comer. In most cases we see a lot of vegetation along with the blades of eelgrass. Different sorts of algae and epiphytes are nestled between the blades and sediment.
In “Mapping Seagrass”I created a large scale abstract map of Duxbury Bay. I wanted to recreate our experience of “Searching for Seagrass”. In August 2019 I volunteered on a “Citizen’s Scientist” project with Mass Bay NSRWA Watershead ecologist Sara Grady in Duxbury Bay. They had been documenting eelgrass in the area for several years and monitoring the water quality. We went to 18 different sites in two days and our job was to do document the seagrass. We only found one site with eelgrass. These eelgrass sites are disappearing at fast rates. In my painting I tried to capture the beautiful day and this movement of zipping to different locations looking for seagrass.
“Collecting Samples” depicts the rich biodiversity of a seagrass meadow underwater as I experienced it snorkeling to collect data samples in Virginia for a Long Term Study on Eelgrass. I reversed the colors so the blue-greens of the water became hot orange-pinks to feature seagrass as the prominent stars of the habitat. The physical sample collecting part was a balancing act for me; dealing with wave action, moon jelly fish and occasional stingrays that swam by made it a little hard to collect exactly the right amount of sediment.
“Underwater Terrain” traces of the contours of shifting land underwater. Lines weave through interlocking rock formations, while greens and yellows lay below the creamy surface of white oil paint. Texture and pattern repeat in different places almost becoming geometric and then dissolving into another organic iteration. Sand covers rock, an orange mollusk shell reveals itself partially hidden. I am interested in capturing these moments of structure and loss as a metaphor for what is happening in eelgrass habitats.
Seagrass provides us with many ecological services from storm protection, to feeding thousands of animals to helping minimize shore erosion to breathing clean air. Protecting and conserving the existing seagrass meadows become most important as our C02 levels reach a historic high of 413 parts per million (ppm). With my paintings I hope to give a deeper appreciation of the many roles seagrass plays in our oceans.