A Whole Tree of Lightning: Women Artists Respond to the Southern Landscape:April 5 to May 11 2019
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
A Whole Tree of Lighting presents works by eight women artists who have lived primarily in the South. The title, taken from a Eudora Welty short story called "A Piece of News", links together the female psyche and her connection to the landscape. Works in this show address narrative traditions, documentation, socio-political issues, and history along with fear and reverence for the Southern landscape. Having lived my life entirely in the South, with brief interludes for study abroad, from my vantage point in 2019, the South remains very segregated. Landscapes presented here recall backyards and gardens and vacation vistas (Farnell, Colarusso, Cofer, and Paschall) with only Sharon Shapiro’s Memorial Day suggesting a bridge over that divide. These idylls and cloisters, while sequestering us from the kind of violence that permeates southern soil, also provide a balm infused with beauty and bounty. Judy Henson and Lisa Tuttle address specific passages in our dark history recalling the Civil War and its modern aftermath. How we coexist and represent ground so super-charged with conflict, lush and redolent but scarred, is a puzzle with multiple solutions (VanDevender). I thank these women - friends, all - for sharing their perspectives.