Ecstatic Landscape is an apt description for this show, which features Peter Kinney, Helen Mirkil and Susan Pasquarelli and their engagement with nature, and expression of that relationship in found earth, watercolor and oil. This was my opportunity to see more work by Helen Mirkil, after her Hidden Stories show at the Montgomery County Community College Gallery. Footbridge held me with the colors, the pale violet blue sky with flashes of red, the streaks of regenerative green blue, and the footbridge emerging from the scratched lines, the human desire for connection, and passage over water.
In Spring Step, the trees mediate the sky, reaching up with their limbs, in a kind of prayer. The red orange center trunk is the heart of the painting for me, a nourishing color, and then the vibration of the dark red, blossoming into green, unfolding renewal. The color evokes what I love about the use of color in Fern Coppedge’s work, and the vocabulary of red violet, of the life blood of contemplation in nature.
As I had walked into the Borowsky Gallery, I saw the sign asking me to be mindful of the floor sculpture, and had the unexpected sight of a mandala directly in my path on the polished wood floor. Peter Kinney‘s Moon Boat Mandala is a distillation of fabulous ephemera, from sand, iridescent shell, seed pods, to the ladder of feathers leading into the glittering black, and the orange spine of the top feather making a joyful gesture of color.
Susan Pasquarelli‘s series of Mountain Contours start with the shape of specific mountain ranges, and merge into gradations of color and her spiritual regeneration through gradual change. She describes her vision of art as a part of the process of nature. I wanted to be in the midst of these mountains, where the colors gradate into light at their center.
Ecstatic Landscape runs until Sunday August 14th, 2011, at the Borowsky Gallery in the Gershman Y, 401 South Broad St., Philadelphia, PA.