Nature has inspired Resa Blatman’s art for many years. But her work took on new meaning after she watched Gasland, the 2010 Academy Award-nominated documentary focusing on American communities affected by natural gas drilling.
“The film got me very motivated,” she said. “I started pushing my work in a new direction.”
Since then, Blatman’s art has evolved toward the themes of climate change and environmental protection. She’s now curated an exhibit at Northeastern’s Gallery 360 titled “Forecasted,” a stunning show featuring eight local artists whose work explores the nature of climate change and global warming in a variety of ways.
The exhibit runs until Dec. 7. The artists were asked to confront two questions: how do we face the challenges of climate change in our everyday lives, and—as temporary residents on this planet—what is our responsibility to the environment? To answer these questions, the artists used physical and representational elements of nature in their work.
Andrew Mobray collected discarded Styrofoam washed up near his home on Boston’s coastline and used these pieces to create a well that’s crafted and built to look like stone. “It represents an interesting cycle of man-made products,” Blatman said. “There’s even a Styrofoam bench you can sit on.”
Blatman produced a stunning three-dimensional piece titled “Gaia Part Two”—the larger Part One will be on display at Babson College starting Oct. 24 through January 2015—featuring layer upon layer of laser- and hand-cut Mylar, a plastic paper. Painted with oils and sparkling with glitter, the piece depicts the beauty of nature and vibrant colors forcing their way through the black sludge of an oil spill. “It represents a paradox in some ways, in that nature is beautiful but it can be poisoned—yet that doesn’t mean the beauty goes away,” she said.
A set of 11 oil-on-canvas works from Joe Wardell features vivid pictures with slogans such as “Well Intended But Bad Advice,” “Burn Out,” and “Mankind Is Unkind Man.”
Other pieces include a series of black-and-white acrylic and graphite pieces showing imagery of nature, as well as oil-and-acrylic works featuring 3-D, bold-colored shapes that are painted on slices of tree trunks.
“It’s all stellar, high-quality work,” Blatman said. “I’m appreciative of the artists for participating in the show, and I think it’s an important, timely, and beautiful exhibit.”