NEWPORT, R.I. – ‘Ocean States,’ an exhibition of extraordinary seascapes by five Rhode Island-based artists, will open Nov. 17 and run through Dec. 14 at the Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery on the campus of Salve Regina University.
The show, free and open to the public, features the work of Allison Eleanor Bianco, Buck Hastings, Todd Moore and the collaborative team of Mikhail Mansion and Will Reeves.
On Thursday, Nov. 17 the campus community and the general public are invited to attend an opening reception for the artists. This reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the gallery, located in the Antone Academic Center on Lawrence Avenue.
The artists in Ocean States share a unique relationship to marine imagery. They are drawn to the ocean’s spatial and metaphoric properties. In their work the ocean becomes a restless and mischievous force, a site of many mysteries, tragedies and transformations.
Bianco presents a tragicomedy of shipwrecks and saturated high seas. In her screen prints, she crafts a fleet of supertankers, trawlers and cruise ships that overturn or run aground on route to their destination. For Allison, each of these sinking vessels signals a moment of irrevocable change, a memory of remarkable loss.
From a library of color copies, vintage magazines and oceanographic texts,Hastings develops a dynamic curiosity for deep sea exploration. His photo-collages depict a dream-like universe of divers and discoveries. It’s a strange world of underwater encounters.
Moore’s bold ink drawings are an innovative response to the rocky New England shoreline. He’s interested in a rugged topography that’s shaped by the ocean, yet images of water are rarely present in his work. These are visually assertive landscapes animated by the tides.
For this presentation Mansion and Reeves have constructed a central kinetic sculpture that’s reflective of the ocean’s movements. This duo has engineered a mechanical wave that rises and falls from a battery of overhead controls. Through a sophisticated puppetry of gears and cams, pulleys and wires, an undulating sea comes to life.
‘Ocean States’ is a curatorial project of Ernest Jolicoeur, director of the Hamilton Gallery. The gallery is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
(Accompanying image: Buck Hastings, 'Seeker,' 2011 Collage)