Datebook: Artist’s New Work Melds Science With Art At University Galleries

A Chicago-based artist ventured into the wild to gather inspiration for her most up-to-date exhibition. Plumbing the depths of lakes around the globe, brainstorming with scientists and shadowing the footsteps of a renowned naturalist, she merged arts with science in an exploration of a fragile surroundings. 

“The Canary in the Lake” functions 40 new photographic, video and audio will work by Alice Hargrave. The exhibition is presently on view at College Galleries in Typical. Hargrave facilities her new do the job on lakes and birds as she proceeds her foray into biodiversity and habitat, and the losses occurring in nature from local climate modify. 

The roots of the current exhibition can be found in prior do the job that Hargrave showed in Bloomington-Typical.  The artist had a solo show at University Galleries in 2017 called “Paradise Wavering.” After Hargrave took element in a panel discussion about her clearly show, she was approached by Dr. Catherine O’Reilly, a professor of geology at Illinois State College. 

“She was thinking if there was any way to operate together with her scientific data and details,” Hargrave discussed. “She talked about how she was undertaking lake exploration, and I assumed why never we do portraits of lakes? Just do a collection of portraits of the global lakes employing the facts that she experienced herself and that she also experienced accessibility to via her a lot of global colleagues.” 

Hargrave admitted to a longtime interest in a bridge among art and science, so the venture was a all-natural healthy for her sensibilities. The collaboration among Hargrave and O’Reilly involved amassing and revisualizing details from lakes on every of the seven continents and how climate alterations have impacted the lakes.  

Hargrave also consulted with scientists from the World Lake Ecological Observatory Network (“I was the only one in the room with no 5 or 6 PhDs!”) to create her lake portraits–images from photographs and styles of scientific details imprinted on great swaths of fabric that hang in multi-layered fashion from the ceiling of the gallery, developing a “conference” among each portrait.  

This is the premiere of “The Meeting of the Lakes, Following Farid Attar.” The title is a nod to Farid ud-Din Attar’s 12th century poem, “The Meeting of Birds.” 

“In the scenario of lakes, I imagine the transparency was very poignant in that waters are obviously transparent, and it was a way for all the lakes to occur jointly and harmonize with each other and move alongside one another and move together,” said Hargrave.

“That transparency allows make it into this one particular being, as nicely as celebrating the variance of all the exceptional issues that are struggling with all of the lakes. There are 20 lakes in the installation right now. There’s so quite a few diverse issues that impact lakes, and there is cross-around amongst troubles–there’s several lakes that are all warming, quite a few lakes have problems with glacier soften, lakes that are shrinking, lakes that are developing, invasive species. So numerous difficulties. 

“It’s been interesting for me to study about all these issues and assembly the folks that are studying them.” 

Hargrave also incorporated historical imagery and lake lore, as effectively as audio and spoken phrase recordings in her set up. 

When visitors encounter the significant lake portraits hanging in the gallery, Hargrave mentioned she hopes they have a sense of becoming lured in by the operates. 

“Feel the color and truly feel the movement and hear the sound in the room,” she claimed. “And I hope it will make them inquire queries, such as, ‘Why am I searching at the vibrant pink piece of material?’ It is simply because there is these scorching pink, magenta algae.” 

Hargrave also blends birds into her new exhibition.

The exhibit’s “Tracing Audubon 1832/2021 (last phone calls)” is an set up that incorporates wallpaper, photos and recordings Hargrave manufactured in the discipline as she adopted in the footsteps of famed naturalist and artist John James Audubon, who painted the birds he noticed on his exploration of Florida in 1832. Like Audubon, Hargrave ventured into the Florida Keys and the Dry Tortugas. The artist works by using sound coupled with photos to share the knowledge of looking for birds in the wilderness.  

“It’s really hard to locate birds,” Hargrave declared. “You truly require to go out and seem for them at dawn. There could be fields of them at dawn, if you go to the suitable area. But some of them are really elusive. 

“The wallpaper set up is fairly powerful for me, having the Roseate Spoonbill, which is a person of my new favored birds that I found in Florida.” 

It is a large wading bird with beautiful pink plumage. Hargrave juxtaposed the outstanding pink of the bird with lush inexperienced from the Everglades to generate a effective color combination that viewers can slide into and really feel the landscape. 

“In phrases of the means that I photograph birds, it is more the landscape bordering the birds,” she reported. “You barely see the chicken, but you see them, how you see them in authentic lifetime alternatively than having in super near and obtaining a zoom lens and seriously focusing in just on the chook.” 

The seem with the installation contains the 22 species that Audubon pictured in his portfolio, “Birds of the Florida Keys.”  

“The Canary in the Lake” exhibit continues at University Galleries by Could 16. The Galleries will provide a collection of training opportunities for all ages, as very well as virtual excursions through the present.



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Sharon Eva

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