BOSTON, MA – Childs Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Life Is a Beautiful Place: A Radical Collaboration, on view from March 15 to May 13, 2018. The exhibition brings together a select group of women artists whose art expresses the intimate connections between human beings and the natural world. These artists connect art and science to create a visual, visceral language about global environmental change and its implications for life on earth.
While scientific evidence provides us with information and warnings, this exhibition presents art that we can feel, internalize, and remember. Through this connection, the collective work of these artists becomes a powerful agent for change, motivating us to maintain sustainable lifestyles and preserve the health of our world. By emulating the power and beauty of nature, their art reminds us that life is a beautiful place worthy of protection.
The term “Life Is a Beautiful Place”, introduced by featured artist Karen Lee Sobol, is meant to take the spotlight off negative connotations associated with climate change, instead focusing on a positive call for action. Gallery Director Stephanie Bond explains, “While we don’t always feel we have control over the negative impact human beings have on this earth, we do have the ability to make a positive impact as individuals.” The exhibition highlights our positive connection with the natural world and its potential to inspire individual action. Sobol’s colorful, kaleidoscopic watercolors capture her own experience of nature’s exuberant beauty. For Sobol, “Each moment holds magic. With line, form, and color, I reach into and record scenes and experiences that resonate with the familiar or the surreal, and shift our awareness of them."
Artist Constance Jacobson has long been interested in our interdependent relationship with the living world. Her intricate biological prints explore these connections while conveying a sense of wonder. According to Jacobson, her print Sky Falling/Tide Rising “addresses rising oceans due to climate change, paired with an exploding sky of cosmic dust, referencing our earth’s origins and everything it contains, including us. Here we have the macro and micro—stars and marine microorganisms—treated in a similar fashion, to remind us of our interconnectedness and our total reliance on the natural world.”
Likewise, Resa Blatman’s paintings and installations explore issues surrounding climate change within the natural environment. Blatman describes her work as speaking to “a warming planet, invasive plant and animal species, rising tides, and their effect on and transformation of our landscape and natural resources… My work inhabits the terrain between the poetry of art and nature, and the future of climate dystopia.” In her quadriptych painting Heade the Rising Tide a wall of ocean water threatens to swallow the botanical landscapes of 19th century painter Martin Johnson Heade.
Works by figurative artists Sara Zielinski and Daphna Wilensky-Zik further remind us that nature is intrinsic to who we are as human beings, while Sawool Kim’s paintings of alternate habitats create a world in which endangered flora, fauna, and objects live intertwined and in harmony with one another. We are a part of nature, not separate, not superior, not inferior. Other exhibiting artists include: Jill Whitney Armstrong, Jillian Freyer, Emily Lombardo, Kate MacDowell, Anne Lyman Powers, Amy Ross, and Judith Rothchild.
Life Is a Beautiful Place has been organized in part to help promote the work being done at The Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The Center is a home for innovative researchers and educators who accelerate change for a healthier, more sustainable world.
For Gallery Director Stephanie Bond, “Learning about the Center’s mission and its phenomenal leadership, staff, and various contributors, gives me great hope for our future. Through this exhibition Childs Gallery aims to make a positive impact by donating a percentage of the proceeds from the exhibition to the Center. Life is a Beautiful Place will provide an opportunity to bring home a daily reminder of the beauty that surrounds us, while simultaneously contributing positively to the greater mission of sustainability.”