Nash Gallery / Rivers of Regeneration



still image from "welcome to a world where anything is possible" by cheryl wilgren clyne


Restoring Balance, 2010
-steel, aluminum, glass, video, water

Upon entering the gallery, I was immediately drawn to this piece. It is fairly large in size and gives off a sacrificial/temple vibe. I was impressed by the entire set-up (lighting, location, size, construction, etc.) Additionally, the sonic aspect of the piece was captivating. However, I disliked the video projection footage that was applied to the water glass. I would have preferred the footage be more abstract. Overall, I enjoyed the mysteriousness, the playfulness, and the serenity of the work.

Katherine Nash
Unseen Rain by Jeanne Phillipp & Judith Huacuja

The piece consisted of six motion photographs that were displayed next to each other with a small space in-between one another. In the middle of the photographs was a canoe that was suspended from the ceiling. It was a small canoe and appeared to be handmade by a craftsman. Under the canoe was reflective material that reflected unique shapes over the motion pictures. There was a lot to this piece! It was a very large display that was unfortunately crammed in because of the amount of work being displayed during this show. It would’ve been nice to see this piece on it’s own wall because it would not only look better but also not take away from the much smaller pieces being displayed right next to “Unseen Rain.” My favorite element of this work would definitely be the motion photographs. They were of a woodland landscape in winter. These pictures instantly reminded me of the woods near my cabin in Wisconsin. The pictures were taken in Ohio but the scenery would have meaning for anyone who has lived through a Midwestern winter. The reflection of sunlight also added to the photos, they shapes of light made the pictures seem even more realistic. Unfortunately I didn’t really enjoy the main attraction of this piece, the canoe. The photos were so well done and powerful, but it was difficult to see some of them because the canoe was directly in the middle of the piece. It was impossible to see all the motion pictures at once, which seemed to be the idea behind the photos because like I said, the canoe was center stage. I actually did have a dislike about the photos too. They were displayed on long posts so they weren’t touching wall, which took away from the realistic element of pictures. Another thing I didn’t like about the photos was a white border running along the top of every photo. Again this border really subtracted from the realism and meaning the pictures had to me. I don’t like ending on a negative note though because all in all I did enjoy this piece! It had many different elements, which really made the viewer think about a range of different meanings. Also the fact that it felt crammed wasn’t the fault of the artist so you can’t blame them for a overcrowded show!

Liliyane Daneel Mendel
Living Water 2009

On Tuesday the 2nd of March 2010, we went to the Nash Gallery. The art piece that caught my eye the most was 'Living Water' by Liliyane Daneel Mendel, 2009 Cape Town, South Africa. The type of art work is mixed media on paper. I really liked this piece because it is so powerful from the way the colors are used. All the darkness and contrast with light and shadow add extremely strong feelings that it has not only about life but also about the idea of the importance of water.
At the bottom of the art work there is a woman carrying a bucket and a child on her back. It illustrates the idea of the difficulty that people have to get a bucket of water in a place like Africa. It shows the hardships that people face in order to provide for their family. This is enhanced by the environment she is in and the surroundings. The whole right-half of the art piece shows a very steep mountain/hill with a tree on the very top. The tree on top symbolizes the some sort of salvation as it has the idea of the 'tree of life' which is unattainable since it is too high up for the people to reach. On the side of the hill, it has distinct images/outlines of buildings and civilization. This shows the relationship of civilization with nature. The environment is very sandy and a desert like path. The mountain is rocky and black to show the darkness of the world as a result of what human civilization has done to it.
Water taps are located high up which shows the hard journey it would take to get there. The image of the taps are mixed and superimposed onto the original background which portrays the idea that the water supply is not everlasting and will eventually disappear if things continue the way they are and if humanity does not show care for water and stop taking it for granted. The woman is also mixed in which also shows how separate she is from the environment as if she does not belong with nature. A brownish/red rock falling from the mountain can also be seen in the direction of the women to show nature's power and wanting humanity to stay away so that water can be conserved. A second image of a tap is seen but it is located as if suspended in air which enhances the idea of it being unattainable and difficult for people to get.

On Tuesday, March 2, we went over to the Nash Gallery to look at various art pieces. One piece that stood out to me, or that I liked, was the piece Floating by Mayumi Amada. This art piece had a bunch of flowers with various shades of blue that were tied with a fishing line hanging down above the ground. I really liked the way that the flowers moved as if they were floating peacefully and gently on top of a body of water because they were hanging in the air of the room, which gently brushed them to sway. Also the pretty blue colors that the flowers were emphasizing really made the effect stand out more that they were on water because we picture water to be full of beautiful blue tones and shades of colors. This was a very uniquely done piece that I really enjoyed observing.

On Tuesday, March 2, we went to the Nash gallery. One of the pieces that caught my eyes was Floating by Mayumi Amada. This piece had several blue toned flowers tied with fishing line and hanging down about a foot off the ground. What I liked was the way the flowers moved as if they were on water because of the way they were hanging and the air flow of the room. The bluish tone to the flowers added to the effect they were on water because the color relates to the color of water.

Piece: Floating/Ukiyo
Artisit: Mayumi Amada
When we went to the Nash gallery, the piece that stood out most to me was a field of plastic flower-like things hovering just above the floor. This piece just drew me in because of how unique it was. It is not able to be put up on the wall. It is just dangling from the ceiling, with no barrier around it, inviting the visitor to come see what this plastic floating flower field is all about. The description says that the plastic it is made of is in contrast against the five basic elements, water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. The plastic is man-made and does not fit with these elements, although it does have a life cycle of its own. And therefore can relate. The name of the piece, Ukiyo, originally meant place full of things of which to worry or be depressed about. I think that this is a very contradictory name, because the blue and white plastic colors were so calming and everything is laid out so neatly that there is no way one could be depressed about this. But now, the meaning is floating on air or being on a cloud. This is a much more fitting title for the project. The old meaning possibly ties into it now too, as if it has gotten rid of all the depression and it is now floating very peacefully. The artist says that the work is inspired by a particular childhood memory and that the meaning of the piece is that we all have the obligation to preserve the land we have now for the following generations. Overall, I really thought the piece was very inviting and I felt like there was a bit of ambiguity in it. I kind of wanted to run through it and frolic or something like that but that probably wouldn’t be very acceptable.

The piece that really stood out to me at the Nash Gallery was Floating by Mayumi Amada. The piece had numerous blue and white flower pedals hanging from the ceiling by invisible wire that hung about a foot off the ground. This was the most visually appealing and unique piece in my opinion and it made me want to just stand there and watch as the flowers slowly swayed from side to side from the slight breeze in the room. It reminded me of being up at my cabin sitting on the dock and watching the lillypads float on the lake. I also thought it was interesting in the description how the artist said they used plastic to conrast the five basic elements of water, fire, earth, wood, and metal. It felt very relaxing and calming for some reason watching these flowers and for that reason I really enjoyed this piece

ART Response

Artist: Mayumi Amada
Work: Floating Plastic Bottles
Mayumi's creation of using basic plastic water bottles was very creative. The use of the simplest material in our world that I even used daily was put to use in an outstanding and remarkable art form. The flowers that she created represented the five elements that were described in her culture. Which included wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The use of space in between the flowers were aligned perfectly and the natural wind coming through the vents to making the flowers look like they were floating added to the great imagery of the flower. It actually looked like it was floating above water. If the clear strings attached to it was any clearer I would have probably walked right into it. Mayumi's floating flowers was described to capture a " peaceful spiral movement," which with no doubt they are, did not miss to convey. Most of the art works I've noticed had similar aspects of life revolving around the element of water. Water was used as a source of why we are living, which included the "women," who are here to create life as well.

Restoring Balance by Liz Dodson/ James Brenner

This piece of art/ sculpture interested me the most, because of it being unique, and interesting, and also because it is so COOL!!!! The cool looking glass that surrounds the item and half open and pouring cool water, also showing video of art made this piece so alluring. This is what they said about the artwork, that this hydrologic cycle is a dance between Mother Nature, but not just with females but also with males. In a way though we have lived in a male dominant world. Feminine qualities of intuition, creativity, and connection restore balance to the planet. Which does not create a balance due to the male dominance, but this piece is trying to restore the balance from the feminine touch, hence the name of the piece.

One piece displayed at the Women and Water Rights: Rivers of Regeneration exhibition at the Nash Gallery was a video/sculpture by Liz Dodson and James Brenner. I was drawn to the piece initially because of the water sounds and music coming from it. The piece had a video of students from Perpich Center for Arts Education dancing projected on to the pool of water. I liked this piece, but I think I would enjoy it more in pieces, or simpler. If the extra music and the video were removed, the sounds of the trickling water would be clearer and the rippling on the pool in the middle would have been more visible. I would have rather enjoyed the music and video of dancing as a different work.

The piece on the far wall by Rachel Breen caught my eye the moment I walked by it. Maybe
the fact that it took up the whole wall could have been why. Or maybe it
was the only white and black piece? Either way, it got my attention. And I
am very glad that it did.
At first, I thought this piece was made out of cloth. I went closer to
it and it definitely was not cloth. It was just a wall and what seemed like
charcoal. From far away, it looks exactly as if the piece had been sewed.
What I love about this piece is how it seems so energetic but yet so calm.
The dark strands look like they want to move but they can't. This piece
reminds me of the ocean with its never-ending waves. If I could, this piece
would definitely be my wallpaper for my computer.
The meaning behind this piece is that the art of sewing and how it changes
what is being brought together into something new. I think it would have
been interesting though if it was actually sewed. I think it would have
added texture and a more realistic feel.
This piece could also portray hope and possibility because it feels
like it does not have any boundaries and has limitless potential. The piece
could have been rearranged and the meaning wouldn't change.
The black and white of the piece really made me focus on the dark strands.
I think if there was more color then it would only distract people's
eyes. Rachel says that the piece connects what is broken. It took me awhile
to interpret that meaning but now I understand.

Artist: Cate Vermeland

At the Katherine E. Nash gallery exhibition of Women Investigating Water Rights Through Art, I found the pieces to be very interesting and creative, but one piece really caught my attention. It is a photograph entitled "Around the world, each day, 200 million woman-hours are spent gathering water, while I complain about having to do the dishes." This piece is a simple photograph of a silver knife sitting in a stainless steel sink surrounded by beads of water, as if the basin had just been drained or splashed with a burst of water.

I found this image so profound because I could relate to it. I can look at images of women carrying water on their backs and images of women lined up to use a town's single well, but my mother never had to obtain water like this, so I can't relate to it as well.

Doing the dishes, however, is something that I do nearly every day (and if not every day, it probably should be.) I have water pumped into my kitchen via the twist of a knob. Right now I'm unhappy because my water smells like a dirty fish tank due to spring rains and snow melt, but if that's my biggest problem, then what really do I have to complain about? I don't have to walk two miles every day to the only well in my village to hand pump 3 gallons of water for my family to use on that day.

This simple image of something I see every single day of my life was the most moving to me out of all the works in the gallery. I find it very interesting how such an image, when paired with a powerful caption, can become so fascinating and moving.

Laura Tiede
Cowgirl, Rowboat

This piece is probably the most eye catching for me as I am taking a painting class currently so it’s interesting to notice all of the varying techniques the artist uses and to the extent of it’s execution is pretty impressive. The surface itself caught my eye when the light hit it in different ways because of the glaze the artist used. This really enhances the reflective qualities of the water in this work. The blending is also very well done, especially from around ten feet away the centralized figure seems seamless in its blending execution, though up close there is a more shifty change from light to dark which I actually think works well in this case. I love the contrast of the near perfect quality of the figure and boat amidst the harshness off the angled brush strokes for the water. The complimentary colors, to me, is what makes this stand out the most. Using such a nice clean vibrant red and green together really keeps your eye focused on the subject.

I enjoyed Marcia Soderman's "Distillation #1" in this exhibit because the use of watercolors made everything in the picture seem to come together as one. The picture has trees, rivers, and other aspects of a landscape in it. Everything is prominent and separate, but at the same time, it seems as though everything in nature is a part of one central theme. The watercolors run into each other in some sense, so the trees seem to transition into grass, which then transitions further into a river. I think this technique helps the message of the work significantly since it shows that everything is delicately intertwined. As a result, if we affect one part of the environment, by polluting our water for example, it has far-reaching effects that could plague the environment as a whole. This use of watercolor is what I admired most in Ms. Soderman's work.

Mayumi Amada, “Floating”
Right away, I was drawn in by this piece. One notices various blue flowers connected to a thin fishing line. All of this is suspended from the ceiling. Although the materials were quite minimal, I felt the artistic and emotional voice of the work to be quite loud.

I particularly enjoyed how the airflow of people and natural pressures would influence the behavior of the art piece. The movement of the piece was very natural and dynamic.

In contrast, the plastic line was very artificial and man-made. This bold juxtaposition of natural and unnatural elements was an interesting commentary of many political and social issues which are relevant today in today’s world.

It was great that the artist used traditional symbols and concepts from her culture and history. The flowers each represented different elements (water, fire, etc).