A trio of creativity is on display at Mohr Gallery thanks to the collaborative efforts of artists Amy Da-Peng King, Dianne Tittle de Laet and Marianne Lettieri. CSMA is pleased to present “The Wild Places: Greetings from Caddo Lake” July 10-September 17.
While the planet’s wild places are disappearing at an unprecedented rate, treasures such as Caddo Lake, an internationally recognized cypress swamp, provide hope for the future. Their show raises awareness about conservation and reminds us to appreciate all that nature has to offer.
Veriditas, Marianne Lettieri’s series of fiber-based wall hangings, evoke details that settle into memory and imagination such as gumbo-colored mud and light reflecting off fish scales. Amy Da-Peng King uses Chinese brush techniques and sumi ink to capture the inner spirit of the landscape, images painted in moments of spontaneous inspiration. In Praise Song for Caddo Lake, Dianne Tittle de Laet assembles simple natural materials into moving depictions of the human form, including ancient praise singers and mythical heroes, which when photographed appear monumental and serve as iconic symbols that invite reverence for the natural world.
Inspiration comes from a variety of places for each artist. For Da-Peng King, art is a language without limits. She says she paints scenes that inspire her through a combination of traditional Chinese brush painting techniques and materials with brighter and bolder colors from Western art influences.
Da-Peng King was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan and began her training in Chinese Brush painting at the age of 13. She spent most of her childhood leisure time in her art teachers’ studios, observing and replicating their work and techniques. When the day came when one of her teachers said he couldn’t differentiate her painting from his, she knew it was time to search for a style of her own. She found it.
“I depict subjects from nature that are both very familiar, yet easily overlooked. I try to remind viewers that in spite of our fast-paced lives, we need to take time to appreciate the beauty of (our) surroundings,” Da-Peng King shared.
The beauty of art is the different perspectives that can come together to create something unique. For Tittle de Laet, her sculptures, or what she refers to as ‘The Figures’ are “poems as earth.” She explains:
“They summarize and hold in a feather or stone all that has ever been written or done, all that has been performed or spoken aloud by one who aspires to find at least one right word or possibly the next one. The natural object is the key that unlocks the mysteries of language and truth, and reminds us to reverence our natural world and to hold as precious our own very small piece of the human experience.”
Lettieri’s mixed media constructions and art installations investigate shifts in cultural and individual values associated with everyday objects and discarded materials, according to her website.
Through her work with textiles and fibers, Lettieri’s Veriditas evokes the lush wildness of a cypress swamp through careful attention to detail and use of reclaimed and salvaged materials. She explains that the reclamation and renewal process is a metaphor for how decay feeds fecundity in nature and how trials build strength and change in humankind.
“I see this as a symbol of hopeful reconciliation between people and the wild places that need our protection,” Lettieri said.
By TaLeiza Calloway-Appleton