Group exhibition “de-natured” explores the environment’s uncertain future

The Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery has announced the opening of “de-natured,” a group exhibition organized by Providence-based artist Mara Metcalf and Ernest Jolicoeur, assistant professor and gallery director.

Together, Linda Leslie Brown, Jane Marsching, Metcalf and Ed Osborn share an interest in the environment and its uncertain future. Using sculpture, video and painting, their work explores interwoven ecologies and the disturbing modifications to the natural world that often result from human activity.

The campus community and the general public are invited to attend the exhibition’s opening reception for the artists, scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 in the gallery. There will also be a gallery talk at 5 p.m. The show will run through Wednesday, Feb. 14.

“de-natured” looks at the complex and shifting ways that we experience nature and construct place. We live in a world that has become increasingly fragile, where connections between nature and humans are strained.

Brown’s compact sculptures combine plastic debris, plaster and ceramics to create allusive bodies and construct a “new natural.” Marsching uses collaborative, research-based practices to explore the impact of humans on our environment. In her black kite installation, she weaves a tale of interconnectedness between mankind and the ocean, between disaster and desire.

Osborn’s video of the frozen landscape reveals a slow evolution. Ice melts and moves while plants poke through the tundra. It is an experience of geologic time, where humanity is a mere blip. Metcalf is interested in the borderline between nature and the urban environment. In her abstract paintings, stitched together layers dematerialize solid form into ever changing veils of color and image.

The gallery is handicap accessible with parking along Lawrence and Leroy avenues. Its exhibits are open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The gallery is closed on Mondays.

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