Delaware River Towns
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“(in)animate: Transience​ ​and​ ​Transformation​ ​in​ ​Nature” to Open at ArtYard

“We​ ​may​ ​learn​ ​a​ ​great​ ​deal​ ​from​ ​books,​ ​but​ ​we​ ​learn​ ​much​ ​more​ ​from​ ​the​ ​contemplation​ ​of nature—the​ ​reason​ ​and​ ​occasion​ ​for​ ​all​ ​books.​ ​The​ ​direct​ ​examination​ ​of​ ​phenomena​ ​has​ ​an indescribably​ ​disturbing​ ​and​ ​leavening​ ​effect​ ​…​ ​[a]​ ​revitalizing​ ​quality​ ​altogether​ ​absent​ ​…​ ​in even​ ​the​ ​most​ ​faithful​ ​copies​ ​and​ ​descriptions​ ​of​ ​reality.”

—​ ​Santiago​ ​Ramón​ ​y​ ​Cajal,​ ​1897

ArtYard​ ​is​ ​pleased​ ​to​ ​present​ ​​(in)animate​,​ ​a​ ​group​ ​exhibition​ ​featuring​ ​the​ ​works​ ​of​ ​Thomas Beale,​ ​Bruce​ ​Gardner,​ ​Naoko​ ​Ito,​ ​Luci​ ​Jockel,​ ​Margaret​ ​Parish,​ ​Lauren​ ​Rosenthal​ ​and​ ​Carrie Witherell.​ ​Using​ ​organic​ ​matter​ ​or​ ​man-made​ ​materials​ ​that​ ​have​ ​fallen​ ​to​ ​natural​ ​processes, each​ ​artist’s​ ​practice​ ​is​ ​rooted​ ​in​ ​an​ ​examination​ ​of​ ​nature.​ ​Through​ ​the​ ​repurposing​ ​of​ ​dirt,​ ​tree branches,​ ​sunlight,​ ​water,​ ​bones,​ ​insects,​ ​rocks​ ​and​ ​rust,​ ​hybrids​ ​emerge​ ​in​ ​the​ ​form​ ​of sculpture,​ ​drawing,​ ​photography​ ​and​ ​installation.

In​ ​pondering​ ​what​ ​animates​ ​nature​ ​and​ ​what​ ​is​ ​missing​ ​in​ ​its​ ​absence,​ ​the​ ​artists​ ​in​ ​this exhibition​ ​reveal​ ​the​ ​innate​ ​memory​ ​of​ ​organic​ ​matter​ ​even​ ​long​ ​after​ ​its​ ​readaptation.​ ​The works​ ​on​ ​view​ ​invite​ ​us​ ​to​ ​examine​ ​our​ ​own​ ​cycles​ ​of​ ​transience​ ​and​ ​transformation,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as the​ ​symbiotic​ ​relationship​ ​between​ ​our​ ​essence​ ​as​ ​living​ ​organisms​ ​and​ ​the​ ​environment.

This​ ​event​ ​also​ ​occasions​ ​the​ ​inauguration​ ​of​ ​a​ ​separate​ ​exhibition​ ​inspired​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Rhode​ ​Island School​ ​of​ ​Design’s​ ​Nature​ ​Lab,​ ​a​ ​miniature​ ​natural​ ​history​ ​museum​ ​which​ ​since​ ​the​ ​early​ ​1900s has​ ​provided​ ​a​ ​library​ ​of​ ​natural​ ​materials​ ​for​ ​artists’​ ​study​ ​and​ ​inspiration.​ ​Throughout​ ​the duration​ ​of​ ​the​ ​show,​ ​the​ ​public​ ​is​ ​invited​ ​to​ ​contribute​ ​nuts,​ ​seeds,​ ​bones​ ​or​ ​other​ ​found materials​ ​from​ ​nature,​ ​and​ ​to​ ​model​ ​a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​objects​ ​or​ ​fashion​ ​their​ ​own​ ​for​ ​instant​ ​portraits in​ ​the​ ​ArtYard​ ​Photomat.

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