Magazine article Sculpture

Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College

Magazine article Sculpture

Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College

Article excerpt

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Laura Amussen

Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College

In Laura Amussen's recent exhibition, nature provided relief from the pressures of an increasingly stressful world. The works in this intimate, meditative installation were formed from twigs, leaves, reeds, moss, and seeds. The walls were painted a dark red-brown color, the earthiness reinforced by low lighting focused only on the objects.

"Nourish" opened with a quotation from the writer and poet Brian Andreas: "These are the days I dropz words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself" For transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, nature is an expression of the divine and a way to understand the spiritual; art is nature combined with the will of human beings. In an increasingly complicated world, when technology provides advances but also exerts ever more pressure on individuals, Amussen follows this approach, seeking a path that restores the value of time and contemplation.

The circle, a format often associated with Hindu and Buddhist imagery (mandalas), is foundational to Amussen's recent work. Two interrelated pieces, both titled Nature Nurture-a human-sized circular blanket of moss and other natural materials and a photograph of the artist standing nude in the forest with the blanket lowered like a cape behind her-are the result of a month-long stay in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. Rising from a Dark Place consists of many gold-painted lotus pods, filled with numerous round seeds. …

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