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Artists' Reception & Conversation: Beth Moon and Elizabeth Opalenik at Verve Gallery

Posted By Turner Uligian, Friday, April 20, 2012
Updated: Monday, January 6, 2014


Exhibition Dates: April 27 - June 2, 2012

Friday, April 27
5:00 - 7:00 pm

Conversation with the artists:
Saturday, April 28
2:00 - 4:00 pm

HUMAN + NATURE brings the work of Beth Moon and Elizabeth Opalenik together in dialogue that addresses the role of humans in the natural world. Both artists employ wet darkroom processes, and in both cases the unique quality of the work is enhanced by the visual manipulation and mastery of the artists.

Moon's landscapes are open and grand. The Dragon's Blood trees of Socotra in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Yemen are seen as looming giants, strange and alluring solitary creatures that seem to test the age of time itself. The mysterious flora rise from a sparse and unusual landscape that is unique in the world; so too are the inhabitant's attachment to the natural world. Moon states her belief that ". . .it is through the unique vegetation that the spirit of Socotra is defined. . ." Her choice of platinum printing works to enhance the majesty, and mystique of the Socotra landscape. Another series presented explores children in the world of adults; the landscape often plays a critical role in frames that evoke the curiosity of a child-like gaze. Trees tour, garden gates keep us from places of play, angels like clouds loom with powerful force.

Opalenik plays with form and figure in new works that employ a Mordan├žage process. Opalenik loosens the darkest portions of the silver emulsion and drapes and adorns shadowy figures with them. The works are atmospheric, soft, and elegant and figures move in and out of focus and plane enticing us with mystery. Another series on display A Journey Home seems at first to be from another time, we quickly realize that in some ways, they are- they are a portrayal of an Amish community. These frames allow us to engage the qualities of a noble people.

On the whole there is something magical in the work of these artists, something mythic, fanciful yet concrete- the natural world becomes more than stage, but personnage. Each frame offers a space for awe and opportunity for wonder.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit Verve Gallery

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