Artist Collective/Invitational Show
Written by Steve Sherrell
For years as a teacher of Art Appreciation, I had my students write an essay about an experience in nature where they encountered beauty. I have read many, many papers about beaches and sunsets, but often a student would describe something like “the sun glinting off of the grass in the field where the cow grazed in the morning”.
I had them read an essay called “The White Bird” by John Berger. In it Berger tries to explain one reason why artists make art by relating it to the experience of nature. He states “The evolution of natural forms and the evolution of human perception have coincided to produce the phenomenon of a potential recognition: what is and what we can see (and by seeing also feel) sometimes meet at a point of affirmation. This point, this coincidence, is two-faced: what has been seen is recognized and affirmed and, at the same time, the seer is affirmed by what he sees.”
My Grandmother lived on a 300 acre farm. I spent weekends there as a child and she let me wander freely about the place. I was always confronted by the mystery of objects. “What is this, what does it do, why is it setting out in the elements?” I learned to feel the necessity of why that shovel was near that door and how it always landed back there.
As William Carlos Williams, the great American poet stated in his poem
“The Red Wheelbarrow”
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
As I drove to work each day through the country around Yorkville and Morris and Minooka, on my way to Joliet from Oswego, I began to feel that mystery again. The rural begins to creep into your soul, telling you stories about the relationship between that tree and that hill, and that sky. All that earth became my respite from the day’s stress and I never dreaded the drive to work. I would just drive and look around me in wonder.
David and H. Dean have captured that in this show. They both understand completely why that broom needs to be exactly where it is and have shown you where to look.