June 14 – July 15, 2018
Reception June 14, 2018 7 - 8:30 PM
Sheri Lynn Behr Gallery Talk June 14, 2018 at 6:15 PM
Many of the swamps, ponds, and streams that were once plentiful still remain. Water, though a simple molecular formula, is an extraordinary substance subject to dramatic physical change depending on ambient conditions. Recent interplanetary explorations have confirmed that water, so fundamental to life, is distributed throughout the solar system. Early life forms may have emerged in the fecund swamps and ponds that surround us. Primal Waters is a close study of these dynamic systems where the surface always changes according to fluctuations in temperature, currents, and wind. I study the surfaces for patterns and naturally occurring geometric arrangements that intrigue me.
Most often, the shallow waters along the shore display the most dramatic effects of increasingly extreme temperature variations. This is where the freeze/thaw cycles of water, ice, and snow are most visible. In warmer weather, the pollen deposits on the surface make the subtle currents and whirlpools visible. Episodic overgrowth of “invasive species” such as milfoil or algae blooms indicate an ecosystem under new kinds of stress. All these stressors have given rise to phenomena I have never seen before.
The black surround on each image was first suggested in the field while I handheld a lens hood in front of camera. The blackness appealed to me, since I wanted to evoke the idea of an intense gaze as though seen through a microscope or telescope. The black surround at once distances the viewer and concentrates the view. I aim to choose just the right amount of black; too much makes the image too distant, too little doesn’t hold the image still enough for intense focus.
In some of the images, I like the confusion of scale. With the black surround some of the images, particularly the pollen patterns, could be mistaken for the shifting cloud and vapor systems on distant planets suspended in space.
Catherine Wilcox-Titus has pursued creative expression in words and images for over 40 years. The poetry of images has most recently engaged her full attention, and she has explored this medium in film and digital formats.
She has exhibited her work in collaborative two-person shows, group shows, and solo shows. Primal Waters reflects work she has done in the past two years as she has explored the fresh water ponds, swamps, and streams that surround us. The close study of the surface patterns on the water and the aesthetic potential of these dynamic systems continues to fascinate her.
She is the recipient of grants from ARTSWorcester and Worcester State University, and won awards in many regional exhibitions. She has a Ph.D. from Boston University in Art History and writes and lectures on topics in art from the 19thcentury to the present day. Catherine teaches at Worcester State University in Massachusetts and curates the campus gallery.