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

Karen Bell

Dana Matthews 

Portfolio Showcase TBA

April 9 to May 8, 2016

 Reception: Saturday, April 9, 6-8pm
  plus 10 Gallery Stroll BeLo3rd 

Karen Bell, Flotsam & Jetsam

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

Dana Matthews, Cyanotypes – an homage to Anna Atkins

helioconias by Dana Matthews from Cyanotypes: an homage to Anna AtkinsHelioconias (cyanotype) by Dana Matthews

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.)

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.