I went to the Tusinski Gallery in Rockport to see the exhibit Catch, which opened on Earth Day and runs through May 22nd. Catch features pieces created entirely from objects found on Rockport’s beaches.
The best — and worst — part of the show was in the kind of found objects the artist used in her work. None of the usual suspects in the art-as-inspired-by-the-sea category were to be seen. Not a single bleached shell, not a curvy chunk of driftwood, not even a sandblasted shard of sea glass. Everything included in Catch was man-made.
Water bottles and jugs, bottle caps, lighters, deflated balloons, old gloves and cups from Dunkin’ Donuts — a riot of color was displayed in photographs and shadowboxes, all items that we’d thrown away long ago, never to be seen again. And yet, like a miracle performed by a malicious entity, this stuff is seen again. And again. Our trash shows up in our lives in continual and unexpected ways. Maybe as we take a walk on the beach, seeking refuge in nature only to find a tampon applicator underfoot, washed up on the sand and nestled among the strands of seaweed and clam shells like an uninvited guest, the swine among the pearls. Surveying the artfully arranged detritus included in Catch, it became clear that the ocean has finally met its match in that fantastical material we’ve invented which is every bit as eternal as the sea itself: plastic.
The artist behind Catch, who also happens to be my friend Skinner (well-known to The Roving Home’s readers for her Yankee Modern style ) extends her critical eye beyond the unfortunate timelessness of plastic. She picks ups driftwood as well, but only lumber — altered and treated wood — that has made its way back to shore. Maybe these pieces were hurled into the sea in a fit of rage from some multi-million dollar oceanside deck project gone awry. Who knows? But Skinner finds them and turns them into three-dimensional sculptures, graphic testaments to our ongoing collaboration — or maybe war — with nature.
For more information:
Catch runs through May 22nd at the Tusinski Gallery, 2 Main Street in Rockport. 978.546.2244.
Skinner’s blog documenting her beach finds, also called Catch