This past week, the Beard and Weil Galleries, located in Watson, have been open to the Wheaton public for an exhibition dedicated to examining the clash between nature and culture. Five artists were featured in the exhibition: Elizabeth Keithline, Rob MacInnis, Sally Moore, Sandra Stark, and Alison Williams. Williams gave a talk on September 19, in the Ellison Lecture Hall, about the use of her garden as inspiration for many of her creations. Alison Williams utilizes plants within her paintings, photographs, and even glasswork pieces. Although vegetation serves mostly as the subject of her pieces, Williams also works with plants as a medium, attempting to boil various flowers down to liquid forms, thus creating “paint.” During her talk, Williams tried to illuminate the scientific methodology behind her creative process, particularly the setting from which most of her pieces originate. She builds her own glass solariums which house the gardens she spends most of her time cultivating. These gardens then serve as the arena from which she derives most of her formations. Williams works mostly as a solo artist but has done some collaboration with a photographer, whom she credits with giving her new perspective on the way in which light functions as a second subject within a flower-centered concept photo.
After the talk, two students shared what they gained from the event. Courtney Sitzer ’15 was able to apply her knowledge of natural science to the talk, saying, “I was most interested in the connections she [Alison Williams] made between nature and art. As a biology major it was great seeing science through the lens of art.” Mikela Boudette ’15 went to the gallery and commented on, “How much I enjoyed playing around with the pieces, as that is what they are there for; it is meant to be a hands-on experience as Williams intended.” The talk piqued the interest of many students and faculty members alike with regards to looking at nature through photography and painting in an interactive and experimental manner.
Categories: Arts and Culture