Trouble in Paradise
Catamount Arts is pleased to present Trouble in Paradise, an exhibition of paintings by artist Resa Blatman that explores effects of climate change. Officially opening on Sunday, April 22 as part of the 48th anniversary celebration of Earth Day, the exhibition will be on view in Catamount Arts’ Main Gallery in St. Johnsbury, VT through June 8 with special related programming, such as free gallery talks and film screenings to be scheduled throughout the course of the show. All are welcome to attend.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION:
“Nature is full of delight and darkness, energy and decay, life and death,” observes artist Resa Blatman. “I endeavor to make work that offers me, and the viewer, an elegiac and seductive visual feast, with hints of surrender—surrender of the self, surrender of the natural world, surrender of the things we cannot control.”
Resa Blatman’s work is proof that eco-activism is not limited to the scientific community. Trouble in Paradise, in an exhibition of 17 elegantly crafted and exuberant paintings, the artist offers up a visual commentary on climate change and its increasing threat to migratory birds and other animal species. Inspired by the decorative traditions of Baroque, Romantic and Victorian art, Blatman combines paint, assemblage and intricate laser-cut forms to create beautiful, yet unsettling microenvironments. Scintillating Swamp and The Ultimate Whorl show flora and fauna bursting from the confines of the picture frame, which give evidence to the dynamic vitality of nature. But within this abundance of life, we are faced with a clear threat. Tangles of thorny branches leave little room for migratory birds to rest comfortably. The scarred earth and ominous skies in such paintings as The Fall and Heed force viewers to go beyond poetic beauty to consider what happens if nature is stressed beyond her ability to recover. While Blatman’s small worlds are undeniably lovely, they also acknowledge and warn about troubles in our natural paradise.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Resa Blatman’s intricate paintings and multi-layered installations have long been inspired by the natural world with such series as Trouble in Paradise and Gaia. However, her most recent work explores the alarming signs of climate change—extreme weather conditions and rising water levels due to shrinking ice caps. In 2015, she was one of 29 artists, writers and poets who sailed along the west coast of Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago north of the Arctic Circle. During the month-long expedition, the artist hiked on glaciers, boated in and out of fjords, and collected detritus—fishing line, fishing nets, combs, toothbrushes—washed up on the shore. Upon return, Blatman created The Water Project / Rising Tide, a series of large-scale installations made from pliable hand-cut Mylar painted with latex to effectively simulate movement of ocean currents. The artist is currently planning a trip to the ice-capped landmass of Greenland, where she expects to be further inspired by her observation of the natural world.
Blatman holds a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and an MFA from Boston University. She has exhibited widely, with solo exhibitions at Babson College, Wellesley, MA; Delta State University, Cleveland, MS; Lesley University, Cambridge, MA; Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA; Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, Georgia; Suffolk University, Boston, MA; Tufts University, Medford, MA; University of Rochester, Rochester, NY; and the University of Western Illinois, Macomb, IL. She has also exhibited at numerous museums and galleries in the Boston area, including Danforth Art; DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum; New Art Center: Northeastern University, as well as at the Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg, SC.
She is a past recipient of a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center, a Blanche Coleman Award and an Artist Resource Trust Award from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Her work is in public and private collections across the United States, Europe and South Africa. She currently lives and works in Somerville, MA. For more information about the artist, see www.resablatman.com.