The Horizon Vanishes | A Journey Underwater signals the return of new work to the virtual gallery walls of dearantler. E+J both present new series exploring this topic, offering two varying styles and takes on the same theme. We invite you to leave the familiarity of terra firma, enter the depths of the ocean with us and explore a world not often seen.
What is it about this vast, cold, dark world that has lured writers, artists and explorers for thousands of years? Whether it's the biblical allegory of Jonah and the whale, Ahab's obsessive quest for Moby Dick, or the ancient mariner's lament "Water, water every where, nor any drop to drink," this is a theme that ties us through our collective ancestral roots. At once alluring and inhospitable, the sea reminds us of a time before humankind's predecessors crawled out of its embrace onto the primordial shore.
Downside Up - underwatercolors tying above with below
Edith's series uses vivid pigments to create a double-triptych scene viewed in disconnected pieces through six submarine portholes. At first glance, the scene is filled only with whimsy. Several marine species -- humpback whales, seals and a sea turtle -- swim near the water's surface and peer curiously in our direction, while a colorful school of fish and several jellyfish swim gracefully below. But looking around this scene we soon realize that the ocean floor is not only the place from which kelp forests grow and life is supported, but also the resting place for discarded modern items, such as a television and a VW Beetle.
Beneath the surface, what appears to be a pristine ocean is in fact deeply impacted by human activities that occur both on land and sea. The ocean floor is quite literally the foundational bottom of the earth: all life occurs between this point and the high mountains. The ocean floor is also the figurative bottom of where the limits of human impact reach. Like water flowing through the path of least resistance down to a receiving body, obsolete items must also find a place to rest.
The six watercolors, which can be read individually or as a whole, show us that our impacts are felt far and wide. However, those impacts do not need to be negative. They can be tremendously positive, reminding each of us to give a damn and not to be "such a porthole."
Nothing to Doubt - encounters with screen printing and spray painting
Jolly's series is a set of original prints presenting variations on the theme of vulnerability, loneliness and courage. A lone deep sea diver encounters creatures real and mythical as he finds himself in a clash between two worlds: ours and theirs. From a demonic sea serpent to the giant tentacle of an otherwise-unseen octopus, the diver seems small and helpless, ill-equipped to assert himself in a world where he is merely a visitor.
The prints use a combination of screen printing and spray-painted stencils, combining common pop art and street art methods in a non-traditional way to create limited editions of 6 unique compositions. The compositions are minimalist, each including only the diver and a creature. The screen-printed background is a deep cobalt blue that stops short of the top of the page, making for an abstract horizon. The monochromatic sea and horizon are juxtaposed with the angles and curves of the two figures spray painted in a flat, two-dimensional black. This simplicity allows our own emotions to be projected onto our faceless diver/protagonist. Is he scared? Is he curious? Is he anxious? He may be all of those things or none of them. Ultimately he is whatever the viewer interprets as the tension, or harmony, between diver and creature.