Plant Life/Landscapes
Indigenous, invasive. Leaves, vines, branches and bramble

Karen Bell

Dana Matthews 

Portfolio Showcase
Angilee Wilkerson and Michael O’Shea

April 9 to May 8, 2016

 Reception: Saturday, April 9, 6-8pm
Gallery Stroll BeLo3rd 

Karen Bell, Flotsam & Jetsam   (more images)

Spider by Karen Bell, from Flotsam & JetsamSpider by Karen Bell

Dana Matthews, Cyanotypes – an homage to Anna Atkins  (more images)

early spring, cyanotype by Dana MatthewsEarly Spring (cyanotype) by Dana Matthews

Portfolio Showcase

Angilee Wilkerson, The Vanishing Blackland Prairie   (more images)

Angel Wilkerson-AfterlightAfterlight by Angilee Wilkerson

Michael O’Shea, Invasive    (more images)

Michael O'Shea - Invasive 01Invasive 1 by Michael O’Shea

About the Artists

Karen Bell, Flotsam & Jetsam

Green Leaves by Karen BellGreen Leaves by Karen Bell

For several years Karen Bell has been exploring natural curiosities – dead birds, feathers, insects, reeds, twisted vines, shards of ice – photographed during her wanderings, or gathered and brought back to her studio where they get incorporated into her life and into her magical Flotsam and Jetsam prints.

Bell also creates layered images using vellum tacked loosely over inkjet paper. The effect is not unlike the rich density one observes when walking en plein air:  There is always so much to see, but it is impossible to focus on it all at once. As the vellum image ‘floats’ above the lower image, the translucent barrier forces the viewer to accept the conundrum as the two images merge into one.

Bio:  Karen Bell’s photographs are in the collections of, among others, the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Museum of Art (artist books and photographs), Pfizer Pharmaceutical and National Park Service, Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Recent exhibitions include: Small Works 2015, Alex Ferrone Gallery; 10th Anniversary Retrospective: Ten years of Creations at Moulin a Neff, Auvillar, France; Wild as Heart: Our Affair with Nature at Artspace, Raleigh NC and Visions of Nature, Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Her artist book, Flotsam and Jetsam was exhibited at Davis Orton Gallery and the Griffin Museum of Art in PHOTOBOOK 2014.

Bell has been an instructor of photography at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for over ten years and recently inaugurated Seeing New York Through the Lens, a series of private photography workshops. Bell is co-director of Plein Air Portugal, a painting and photography workshop offered in Travanca do Monte, Portugal.

Dana Matthews, Cyanotypes: an homage to Anna Atkins

Night Shower by Dana Matthews from Cyanotypes: an homage to Anna Atkins

“Contemporary life has mangled our ancient psychic connection to the natural world.” Dana Matthews wants her landscapes, made in jungles, rain forests and on coastlines around the world, to help restore that fundamental connection. These beautiful, pristine places are on the verge of destruction, development or degradation. Once gone, their healing power, both psychological and physical, is lost forever.

Matthews creates her environmentally friendly prints using the 19th century process, cyanotype. She coats 100% cotton paper with ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide then uses sunlight for exposure and available water sources for development.  This series was inspired both by the nineteenth century photographer Anna Atkins and Matthew’s love of horticulture. Anna Atkins is considered the first person to publish a book with photographic images and also the first female photographer. She published her books of British algae in 1843. Not only are they important scientific specimens but also beautiful works of art. (above: Night Shower by Dana Matthews.)

Matthews will also exhibit wearable art – cyanotype shirts.

Poppies, cyanotype shirt by Dana Matthews

Bio   Dana Matthews of the Hudson Valley in upstate New York has worked for over twenty years to create photographs and installations that are related to the environment and the sensitive time that we live in. She uses traditional and alternative processes such as wet-plate collodion, cyanotypes and gelatin silver printing.

Dana’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States and is represented in several domestic and international collections. Recent exhibitions include work at the Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden Holland and solo shows at Urban Zen, Los Angeles CA;  and chashama gallery in Chelsea, NYC. A photographic installation as well as still life photographs were included in “Freak Antique” at Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. Photographs from her “Bordello” series were recently published in the book “Nude Art Today” by Editions Patou and “One Farm; One Decade” recently published in Burn Magazine.

Selected through our Portfolio Showcase Call for Work,
the gallery is also featuring
portfolios by Angilee Wilkerson and Michael O’Shea

Angilee Wilkerson, The Vanishing Blackland Prairie

Angelee Wilkerson-MilkweedMilkweed by Angilee Wilkerson

The Vanishing Blackland Prairie examines natural terrain, indigenous life and culturally ascribed value within one of the most endangered ecosystems in the country—the grasslands and Eastern Cross Timbers of north Texas and south Oklahoma– an unprotected land that is often and wrongly assumed to offer little in the way of transcendental beauty due in large part to the absence of monumental spectacle such as mountains and waterfalls.

Wilkerson’s work reveals the prairie to be a delicate ecosystem, wondrously connected to the region’s woods, thickets, floodplains and waterways. Countless relationships abide here. The raptor hunting in the prairie grasses relies on the woods for nesting. The migrating monarch depends almost exclusively on prairie milkweed – overlooked beauty and alterations within this compromised environment.

Bio  Angilee Wilkerson of Denton, Texas is an artist, adjunct professor and professional editorial photographer. Her work frequently examines the nature of alteration through landscape. Her photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally and featured in publications including: The Photo Review; Photo District News, Photographer’s Forum; and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to photographing prairie lands, waterways and woods, Angilee is a certified Texas Master Naturalist. She champions Texas prairie restoration, donating her time to education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within the North Texas area.

Michael O’Shea, Invasive

Michael O'Shea - Invasive 04‘Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see, and everything to do with the way you see them.’ – Elliot Erwitt

In nature and in art there often needs to be conflict. Michael O’Shea of Valatie NY looks for less obvious beauty in nature. In this series, he understands that these vines are inherently destructive, yet beauty is there. O’Shea often takes his photographs from a different perspective. For example, in Invasive, he found himself lying on the ground, crawling in amongst the vines themselves. (Invasive 4 by Michael O’Shea)

Michael, thirty years after art school, has, in the past three years been focussing his attention on photography. He has exhibited his photographs in several juried exhibitions at the CCCA Gallery/Hudson NY; Spencertown Academy/Spencertown NY, Riverview Cafe/Stuyvesant NY and DYAD Wine Bar/Kinderhook NY.

Thanks to our 2015 Exhibiting Artists.

see 2015 Exhibitions

Kay Kenny, Miska Drascoczy, Mark Lyon, Robin Michal, Thomas Holton, Edie Bresler,
Mary Beth Meehan, Eleanora Ronconi Keith Johnson, Ruth Wetzel,
Steffen Kloster Poulsen,Peter Stern, Rebecca Clark, Daniel Mosher Long,
Bridget Murphy Milligan, Neil C. Jones, Gail Samuelson, Sharon Arnold,
Ellen Cantor, Norm Diamond/Photobook2015 best-of-show: Mara Catalan,
Annna Leigh Clem, Keron Psillas, Andi Schreiber,
Photographers of The Plural “I” Group Show and PHOTOBOOK 2015