December 2, 2011 – January 21, 2012
Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Gallery
Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers features more than 40 works by artists who take inspiration from nature and the history of basketry. Since time immemorial artists and craftspeople have been highly attuned to the beauty and resources of the natural world, whether depicting a pristine landscape, untouched by man, or harvesting plants and minerals for pigments and brushes. Sustainability is part of the design and craft process, which requires a heightened sensitivity to materials, one which honors the caring for, replenishing, and repurposing of materials. Artist Dorothy Gill Barnes captures this eco-friendly position well when she explains, "my intent is to construct a vessel or related object using materials respectfully harvested from nature." Some of these sculptural baskets are made from both flora and fauna, from bamboo, pine, sea grass, and willow to emu feathers and porcupine needles. The tactile nature of these fiberous works stimulates our all of our senses, sight, smell, touch, and even sound. Each maker brings their own conceptual approach and expression to their design and fabrication process. Some works are small enough to nestle in the hand or rest table-top, while others are monumental or hang on the wall. Green from the Get Go stretches our imagination in terms of what materials and forms constitute a basket and how art bespeaks the interconnected relationship of man with nature.
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