A couple of years ago we were invited to contribute to the hiking book Wanderlust: Hiking on Legendary Trails with photos and descriptions of our 2015 trek of the John Muir Trail. It’s a beautiful coffee-table book that will make any hiker salivate. Flipping through its pages, we fell in love with many trails around the world, but one in particular seemed to beckon more strongly than the rest: the Annapurna Circuit.
dearantler now returns with a show dedicated to conveying the magic of Nepal and of the Annapurna Circuit, considered by some to be the best long-distance trek in the world. The AC begins in sub-tropical rainforest and follows an ancient trade route that passes through villages, rhododendron forests, river valleys, and up to a very high pass at nearly 18,000 ft, all the while surrounded by peaks of 25,000 ft or more. The experience of trekking was unlike any we had had before — with an unexpected mix of cultural immersion and stunning natural beauty enjoyed in intervals of effort and reward. Suspension: Bridging to the Impossible is a fine art homage to this experience. Check out our travel blog post for an homage through words and photos.
As with all previous dearantler shows, this one takes its name after a Hitchcock film. Here we take artistic license to turn Alfred’s Suspicion into Suspension. Suspension of what, you might ask? Suspension of disbelief — and an openness to the possibility that the impossible can and does happen if we are only willing to cross the bridge.
This show is dedicated to our dear ones Hilà and Mahalia, two young warriors journeying to full health with grace and strength.
impossible kindness - six prints of magical Nepal
Edith’s series of linocut prints is a collection of vignettes of encounters on the Annapurna Circuit. Half of the series shares encounters with some of its residents — a mother and child in the Tibetan village of Kagbeni, a yak with decorative headwear, a rhododendron tree. The other half of the prints convey encounters with the ever-present feeling of kindness and spirituality in this land, which draws from animist, Hindu and Buddhist influences. This kindness and spirituality is expressed through countless “chortens” (Buddhist monuments) featuring prayer flags, prayer wheels, and scripture, but it is also expressed through the warmth, mindfulness, and friendliness of Nepalis.
annapurna circuit - nine paintings on books
Jolly’s series uses the insides of hardcover books as canvases for stylized compositions featuring animated mountains and residential “teahouses.” These two elements appear in each of the paintings, interspersed together in a balance between nature and culture. Each painting also features a ghostly suspension bridge superimposed in silver in a manner that does not connect any part of the scene logically with another. Instead, each bridge seems to be an ethereal messenger, a reminder of the connections to the self and to others — the exploration and celebration of which are the essence of life.