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Artist Paul Bennett comments on Ice Gazing

Artist Paul Bennett comments on Ice Gazing

The colors of fall may give us pause in our daily lives, but winter offers us its own array of beauty. Examples of such beauty are currently on display at The Art Works building in an exhibition of photography by Lynn Woodward entitled “Ice Gazing.”

She has focused on a small detail we’ve all seen in a typical winter landscape; the patterns made by frozen ice found in puddles of water. This show is not one with a political, gender or “Save the Wilderness” angle to it, but one that simply says, “Aren’t these patterns beautiful? Don’t they offer much food for thought?”

The installation of photographs has a very contemporary feel. The palette of the work is that of wintertime; whites, grays and blacks with some hints of earth tones. The photographs have been printed on a variety of different-sized canvases, often looking like oriental scrolls unfurled in long horizontal and vertical bands. These long forms follow the shapes of the room’s walls; one scroll shape even wraps itself around one of the wall’s corners.

The ice images are a composite of different shots of one subject. These photos have been stitched together with their edges staggered to give an interesting geometric framing that contrasts to the organic lines and shapes created by the freezing/thawing ice.

The titles of the work offer an array of humor such as “Evidence That Mice Ice Skate” to the more intellectual “Arachnid Rhombi Gone Awry.” Such titles show as much thought and time was given to their attention as to every other aspect of this work.

There are contemporary artists today such as Andy Goldsworthy, whose work makes us see the familiar in a new way. Great poets such as Whitman, Blake or our own William Stafford often ask us to just stop for a moment and take a look at the beauty of the natural world around us.

Winter is fast approaching. Take a walk on some cold morning when the fog is frozen on the trees and the hoarfrost glistens. This is beauty. Lynn Woodward’s beauty.

Paul Alan Bennett, website