Sunday, April 3, 2016 3-5pm
Drive-By Projects, 81 Spring Street, Watertown, MA
Thursdays 12-4pm and by appointment.
Drive-by Projects is pleased to present Nature Gone Wrong, an exhibition of paintings by Judith Belzer, drawings by Tanya Chaly, embroidery by Sophia Narrett, and ceramic sculpture by Soe Yu Nwe. As we emerge from an all too mild New England winter, it's difficult not to feel uneasy about the future of our environment. The artists in this exhibition explore what can happen when the human and natural realms overlap.
Painted with what one curator describes as the "critical eye of a journalist," Judith Belzer's Canal Zone series explores the edge lands where built environment and the natural landscape converge, clash and interface. During her travels to the Panama Canal Zone on a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship, Belzer documented firsthand that iconic emblem of trade and international industry as it celebrated its 100th anniversary. Viewed from a skewed, drone-like aerial perspective, her abstracted landscapes pulse with the tension and disorder that occur when the worlds of economy and ecology collide.
Tanya Chaly's charcoal and pin prick drawings of bats, birds, salamanders, etc. have a powerful kick despite their modest scale and presentation. Chaly views the 21st century as "the age of Biological Revolution." Her elegantly spare works document her research into populations of amphibians and other animals that have been invaded by algae, fungal spores, and bacteria. As a classic example of "nature gone wrong," Chaly brings our attention to the effects that climate change has wrought upon the symbiotic relationships between different species within the greater ecosystem.
Reality TV, pop culture and personal narrative inform Sophia Narrett's strange and powerful embroidered wall pieces. Resembling shallow theater sets or dioramas, they depict boldly stitched, doll-like figures engaged in strange social rituals. Ramshackle houses and fragments of rustic architecture are overwhelmed by plant growth in what could be post-apocalyptic episodes of "Survivor" or "The Bachelor." Heedless of the social strictures of organized society, the characters seem to take their cues from tangled, unfettered nature run amok.
Growing up as a Chinese girl in Myamar and Thailand, Soe Yu Nwe suffered painful personal and social isolation. As part of her process of emotional healing, she has channeled her feelings into delicately executed yet threatening ceramic sculptures. Thorny, bone-white vines grow back upon themselves to create spiky knots. Yet, all is not lost. Tiny green shoots and flowers sprouting from the skeletal form affirm Soe Yu Nwe's building optimism after her personal struggle, as well as the resilience inherent in the natural cycle of death and rebirth.
Drive-By Projects' upcoming project, Prints: Sacred, Profane, guest curated by David Curcio, features work by Katie Gilmartin, Nicole Maloof, Stella Ebner, Frank Curcio and Sage Perrott.
A new project, Interiors, Curated by Eric Stephanski, opens at Dorchester Art Project April 14th, and features work by Kathleen O'Hara, Michelle Grabner as well as Maureen Cavanaugh, Sean Downey, Robin Dulzen, Angelina Gualdoni, Maura O'Donnell and Allison Reimus.
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