Now it is more common for a child to choose to play video games over outdoor activities, and many species of animals are nearing extinction due to their habitats being destroyed in order to harvest materials or land for human gain.
In the “Natural Perceptions” art exhibit presented by the Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery, artists Allison Hunter and Marilyn Jolly eschew this apathy towards nature. Instead, they let it be the inspiration of their works.
“It goes beyond art,” said Sherry Giryotas, the gallery manager, “It makes us aware of the world around us. What we do affects a smaller, natural world. It’s to make us have a different perception.”
Though both artists let the natural world be their influence, there is a clear difference in the way they perceive it. Jolly uses the changes in her garden as an inspiration and expresses them with her choice of materials.
“The texture of paint, transparency of a type of paper or patina on a found object suggest the ways it might be used to express a physical sensation of emotional content,” she said in her artist statement, then added later, “I want to be able to find the heart of the thing and describe it in simple, yet evocative ways.”
Hunter is concerned about the dwindling number of species in the natural world, said Giryotas. “[Hunter’s] works are her attempts to make us aware of what we all know is happening, but putting it in a visual context for us to understand better.”
As explained in her artist’s statement, Hunter digitally manipulates photographs to emphasize or highlight certain aspects. She also displays a short video called “Honey Bee,” which she created while on a year-long residency at the Texas Learning and Computation Center at the University of Houston.“I also felt motivated to bring attention to this creature as recent news reported that it may be soon extinct for reasons not quite understood,” she said.
Despite their differences in mediums, both artists express through their art a love and fascination with nature. The next time you are wandering through the Art Village, stop by the Haggerty Gallery to encounter “Natural Perceptions” for yourself. The exhibit will run through Sunday, Oct. 2.