SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY: All are invited to attend the Opening Reception for Uncovered, featuring artwork by Diane Golden, Jae Schalekamp & Emily Vallee on Saturday, February 16 from 6-8pm. Join us to meet the artists, view their impressive artwork, and enjoy craft beer and light refreshments from Druthers Brewing Company. This event is free and open to all.
Diane Golden’s work is assemblage, which is a three-dimensional form of sculpture. She arranges objects in old, weathered boxes which can be shallow or deep, chambered or open, wood or metal. The objects she uses in her boxes are mostly “found” or re-cycled. Some may have intrinsic value (a gold coin, an antique carved chess piece); others are scraps of things long discarded (rusted tin, chain, wire) or from nature (bones, seeds and pods, roots and branches).
She uses a variety of paints, stains and encaustic, as well as old paper, textiles and photos to add texture and color to the boxes; these media form the “collagen” that knits together the skeleton of the structure. The pieces she selects to place within a box may seem, at first glance, disparate and without connection. But she tries to create a belief that the elements belong together – that these bits and pieces of old paper, of bone and metal and wood were meant to reassemble into this particular new “whole”.
Looking at all different shapes and sizes of plants, mingled and tangled, yet keeping their own growing directions toward light, Jae Schalekamp identifies simple truth and wisdom. In the phenomenal cycle of nature, a unique individual plant, or the immediate surroundings, can tell a story, by its shape, line, and color that are created by the interaction between different natural elements.
The nature-inspired paintings are more in the manner of a portrait, rather than a landscape. Her subjects are either simply depicted as a state of being or situated as a metaphor, as a means of self-reflected expression. While her painting is representational, she often paints without a model and mostly by imagination. The textures and subtle monotone palette seems to be influenced by my flair in designing textiles, and also her pursuit of serenity and simplicity.
Emily Valle’s photographic series Of Blood & Bone asks if we can shift, if for only a moment, away from our human condition, to imagine what it may be like to breathe through a different set of lungs or to feel the damp earth wedge between the cracks of our skin. It aims to spur a cognition of sorts, to kindle biophilia and opportunity arises from the images to imagine a primal, perhaps more animalistic version of ourselves.
For the past two years and long before, Vallee has been returning to the forests of New England, primarily of Vermont, Upstate New York and Massachusetts to photograph. Influenced by her upbringing in a farming family in northern Vermont, making images always begins with my often indescribable bond to the natural world. The forest, hunting and farming, she finds, are rife with metaphors for larger ideas about life and its complexities. In her practice, sheI makes photographs with the notion that the camera is an extension of her body. Recording the marks and traces left upon the land, such as the nest or den, is central to the work. These sites and evidences of the cycles of birth, survival and death are pieced together like fragments of a constellation in this series. A perception is uncovered that feels immediate and primary, pushing against a more preconceived version of nature.