Sunday, January 14, 2024

William Demaria, Erin Owen & Oliver Stern at Washington Printmakers

 William Demaria, Erin Owen & Oliver Stern


– emotional landscapes –

January 18 – February 25, 2024

Reception: Saturday, Jan. 20, 2-4:00 pm

After Thought explores overlooked aspects of the landscape with personal significance for each of the three artists, recording emotional experiences as opposed to simple observation.

Demaria attempts to capture the emotions he experiences within the natural landscape using a visual language inspired by Rorschach tests. He is focused on the emotional connection between humanity and the landscape, seeking to preserve his experiences with the hope it will inspire others to value the natural landscape more. 

Owen’s artwork, Dreams of Glacier National Park, is a sculpture based on the framework of the children’s game Kerplunk. Rather than marbles, the sculpture contains etched fragile glass balls filled with crude oil, barely held in place, echoing our endangered glaciers and illustrating the dire position of our ecosystem, a consequence of our dependence on crude oil and other fossil fuels.

Stern, native to Pennsylvania, grew up surrounded by the postindustrial landscape of the anthracite coal industry. In this work, Stern records emotions and memories found on a walk along the Schuylkill River to its watershed, exploring places where human infrastructure and the environment overlap and shape one another, challenging and complicating the separation between humans and nature.

Demaria and Stern look to the past to understand the present, Owen looks to the present to understand the future. While all three of these artists have different perspectives on the landscape, they share a focus on the overlooked / afterthoughts of the landscape, which tell the most about humanity and the real state of our world.