Linda King, a Brookhaven resident and frequent visitor to the Spruill Gallery in Dunwoody, felt an immediate connection with the artwork upon examining the gallery’s new exhibit.
“I absolutely feel the nature and the earth these artists bring out in their pieces,” said Linda King of Brookhaven. “It is soothing and grounding, but it also leaves you with a longing to find that place in your soul where you could be really connected.”
Curated by Buckhead resident Tania Becker, “Formations: Patterns in Nature” includes works by six Georgia artists — Kate Colpitts, Jeannine Cook, Helen DeRamus, Barbara Rehg, Gerry Sattele and Mona Waterhouse — who belong to Women Caucus for Art, a nonprofit organization devoted to women’s artistic development. The exhibit is on display through April 13.
One of Waterhouse’s mixed-media pieces, “Unfolding: Women’s Work,” intrigued Temme Barkin-Leeds of Buckhead.
“It looks like crochet, very traditionally female,” she said.
“Unfolding” includes parts of doilies Waterhouse said she inherited and some she collected from around the world. She said working on the piece has helped her reconnect at a deeper level with her roots and pay a tribute to past generations of women in her family who were known for making elaborate doilies.
Waterhouse, who was born and raised in Sweden, is quick to point out that, unlike her ancestors, she was never interested in sewing.
“My friends and I didn’t want to learn handmade crafts because we considered it ‘women’s work’ and, thus, not important,” she said. “As I matured, got married and moved away from my homeland, I began to realize that the women in my family and those in the community where I grew up were talented and their creative work in crochet, embroidery and sewing was significant.”
She emphasized that “everything is connected through a network, whether in nature or in life.”
Waterhouse’s appreciation for her roots resonated with King, who said she fondly recalls her grandmother sewing quilts, making her own jelly and developing friendships with other neighbors in the Appalachian Mountains. “The joy derived from the community of women getting together to do some of the work in fellowship was invaluable,” she said.
‘Formations: Patterns in Nature’
Where: Spruill Gallery, 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Rd. N.E., Atlanta, GA. 30338
When: Now through April 13.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 11:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Closed on Sunday.
Consistent with the underpinning theme of the exhibition — connecting with the past through nature — Cook’s work shows her expertise in silverpoint, a painstaking medieval drawing technique dating back to the 8th century.
DeRamus specializes in encaustic, a painting process dating to the 4th century B.C., in which pigments are fused with wax. DeRamus likes to immerse herself in her paintings and said she experiences encaustic as a “form of meditation about the passage of time.”
In a hurried world saturated with technology, the artists in this exhibit are seeking to touch upon a more introspective way of life.
“I have learned acceptance and the art of staying in the moment, as the result of working with this medium,” DeRamus said.