SURGE Museum of Northwest Art
September 17-25, 2016
SURGE is an juried exhibit, at the Museum of Northwest Art, Skagit Valley, Washington.
“Surge is a partnership among scientists, educators, and artists to explore changes and impacts such as rising sea levels, changing river flows, and how these affect people and the ecosystem we live in and depend upon."
Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA
Heather Cromwell's Project Description:
These artworks offer a prospective of our community and environment as if we took to the air to look down at the natural wonders and the man-made impacts on our immediate surroundings.
Abstract compositions made from simple found materials like cardboard, paper, string and fabric are utilized to build up the surface plane which is then white washed (gesso) and colorized (oil paint) suggesting topographical evidence of human settlement, arable land, levees, estuaries, waterways, glaciers, and geological formations. The painted modeled surfaces convey the impact of flooding, fragmentation of communities, parched areas of drought, melting glaciers, alluvial outflows and rising seas. A birds-eye view provides a perspective and sense of scale that references monumental time, and a perspective that is otherwise not part of our daily human experience.
Though abstract in form, the artworks reference current and pertinent water issues while also evoking the ancient history of mankind’s relationship with water by conjuring ruins, Roman aqueducts, the mythological, and the sunken city of Atlantis. Civilization has been mitigating issues of water and water resources since the beginning of humanity. These artworks encourage the viewer to imagine the damaging effect of human created environmental changes as they impact their local environment and encourage contemplation and action for a positive change.
©Heather Cromwell 2016