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Dates: August 24-October 6, 2019
Location: Kaaterskill Fine Arts Gallery, Hunter Village Square, 7950 Main Street, Village of Hunter
Gallery Hours: Friday, Saturday & Monday, 11 am-5:30 pm; Sunday 11 am-4:00 PM
More Information: 518 263 2060
Image: CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS/BLUE, aquatint, 28.5 x 20.75 inches, 2019. Photo courtesy Van Deb Editions
Nancy Azara’s work in the upcoming exhibition, Meeting of the Birds, includes: seven mixed media works, collages on paper from the Crow and Sandal Series, three banners made with crow imagery, sized to the gallery’s windows; a series of sculptures carved in wood with steel, painted and gilded, and a selection of small paintings. Azara’s work records a journey of spirit, memory, and ideas around the unseen and the unknown, reflecting on time and mortality through facets of her personal history.
Azara has worked and carved in wood for many years because of the presence and symbolism inherent in trees and because the metaphor of the tree is a “stand-in” for herself. This statement and representation of tree as “self” and woman is timely in a world which is losing touch with its primal essence.
In the Crow and Sandal series, the recurring motif of the crow acts as a symbolic messenger, while the sandal (which in Hinduism represents a realization of the spiritual) functions as a symbol of the infinite.
Azara has been carving less than previously. She now juxtaposes actual tree limbs and vines with arboreal imagery—including renderings of witch hazel and rhubarb leaves in her drawings and paintings. She has also been using the symbolism of feet and hands in both the trees and works on paper.
Processes of pressing and rubbing, cutting and pasting, scraping and gouging are evident throughout the finished images and objects. Azara balances instinctive marks against more considered decisions, arriving at a dynamic interplay between deliberate manipulation of materials and the operation of chance. The repetition of imagery within individual works, and thoughout the exhibition is Azara working to examine and suspend the power of these images in time and space.
Two sculptures in the exhibition include:
Young Tree, a free standing floor sculpture, is a lovely twirling tree which in its whiteness and touches of gold and silver evokes absence, sometimes with color, underneath to bring a radiance to the work.
High Chair is a large sturdy, empty steel chair with a gold carved seat waiting for an occupant, inviting the viewer to tentatively participate in a dialogue between branch and person.
–Nancy Azara, 2019