Garrison Art Center is pleased to present Vibrant Traces, an exhibition of works on paper by Susan Walsh. The exhibition will be on view at the Riverside Galleries from August 10 through September 15.
Susan Walsh embraces nature as a way of marking time through observable changes in natural phenomena. Her recent works are created outdoors using wind, rain, and sea waves, both as material and co-collaborator. Exploring time through multiple concepts of chance, control, chaos and entropy, Walsh’s process of engaging with nature plays out fluidly, allowing unexpected things to happen. The writings of composer and artist John Cage, especially his ideas about chance, are of special interest to Walsh and make perfect sense in the context of her body of work. Walsh’s sensitivity to the natural elements with which she works is integral to her process and her ability to arrive at poetic transformations on paper. For her rain paintings, Walsh coats impermeable Yupo paper with gouache and exposes it to the rain. When the water evaporates, the gouache reveals traces of the rain’s impact. The completed drawing is a record of an action and a place and time. Recent large scale works on Arches paper start as charcoal line drawings that she exposes to winds of different speed and direction to achieve chance encounters resulting in the wistful remains of the wind’s speed and direction. Continuing in this consistent vein of exploration and discovery, Walsh immerses herself in a kind of dance with the ocean and reveals a deeper concern. She states: “In my most current work I have explored the temporal nature of sea waves. One wave crashes over a piece of paper marked with blue gouache. I record the time of the wave on that piece. On multiple beaches I map my experience of the force of the water and its location…. In addition, as anxiety about climate change escalates, I find myself wanting to fully experience time in the natural world around me.”