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A rendering of the flatworm, Bipallium pennsylvanicum, discovered in the 1980's and known only in Pennsylvania.

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Comment by Heather Diacont Rinehart on December 31, 2013 at 12:00pm

Thank you for your insightful comment. It is indeed a scientific illustration depicting a living creature of nightmarish description. Your "alarmed fixation" is a delight to me as an artist. The rarity of this flatworm is the reason for my illustration, as no high quality photographs of the species are available. My work tends to teeter between scientific and storybookish, but nature is the cohesive element. I like to challenge my own technique, and scoot out of my comfort zone, which sometimes results in a mess, but learning is the goal.  Thank you for taking the time to view my work.

Comment by Resident Curator on December 31, 2013 at 9:48am

Curator’s Comment:  

 

I can’t take my eyes off this image.  While it’s identified as a rendering, it has an eerie photographic essence, partially diagrammatic or scientific because of the stark white ground on which it floats.  It exhibits an inexact x-ray quality with the stronger value pattern in the center of the wriggling form, tapering off to fading pale edges.  My alarmed fixation on the subject could be because I live in Pennsylvania- I Googled that particular flatworm to confirm it was an actual organism.  But I’m also struck by this work in that it stands quite apart from the rest of the paintings in your portfolio. I believe the majority of your other pieces here are oriented toward an allegorical narrative, bordering on a fantasy genre.  Tiptoe (Large) in another interesting piece for what it omits rather than reveals.  The human figure seems to be stripped down to her basic elemental form and gesture, with emphasis on nighttime/candle light and mystery.  The streaks of light moving across the picture plane activate the tension and energy of the space, for which ultimately is a seemingly conventional rather than foreboding scene. (Assuming the cat isn’t devouring anything particularly unusual, that I’m missing?)  Regardless of the formal disparities within the various works, I do see an underlying concern with naturalist equivocations and ambiguities; nature and culture may clash, or at least dictate their own internal contradictions.

 

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Ms Kristen T. Woodward critiques of members art.

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